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D.C. L.Oxford, LL.D. 






A II rig Jits reserved 


... Si quid novisti rectius istis, 
candidus imperii : si non, his utere mecum. 

Horace Epist. i. 6. 67. 

^ X 


In writing tiie present volume the author does not intend 
to pubHsh a complete manual of Roman topography, but only 
a companion book for students and travellers who visit the 
existing remains and study the latest excavations of ancient 
Rome. The text, therefore, has been adapted to the require- 
ments of both classes of readers. Students wishing to attain a 
higher degree of efficiency in this branch of Roman archaeology 
will find copious references to the standard publications on 
each subject or part of a subject ; while the description of ruins 
and excavations will not be found too technical or one-sided for 
the ordinary reader. Special attention has been paid to tracing 
back to their place of origin the spoils of each monument, now 
dispersed in the museums of Rome, Italy, and the rest of Europe. 
The reader, being informed what these spoils are, when they 
were carried away, and where they are to be found at present, 
will be able to form a more correct idea of the former aspect 
of Roman monuments than would otherwise 'be possible. 
The volume contains also some tables, which will be found 
useful for quick and easy reference to the chronology of 
buildings, to events in the history of the city, and to the 
various aspects of Roman civilisation. It may be observed, in 
the last place, that the illustrations of the text are mostly 
original, from drawings and photographs prepared expressly 
for this work. 


The publications of the author to which reference is con- 
stantly made are — 

Ancient Romci7i the Light of Recent Discoveries. Boston, 1889, Houghton, 
Mifflin, and Co. London, Macmillan. Pagan atid Christian Rome. Boston 
and London, 1893. Forma Urbis Romae, an archaeological map of the city, 
in forty-six. sheets, scale i : 1000, published under the auspices of the Royal 
Academy dei Lincei, by Hoepli, Milan. Twenty-four sheets already issued. 

The remains of ancient Rome can be studied in books or 
on the spot from three points of view — the chronological, the 
topographical, and the architectural. The chronological brings 
the student into contact, first with the remains of the Kingly 
period, then with those of the Republic, of the Empire, of the 
Byzantine, and Mediaeval periods. The topographical takes 
into consideration, first the main lines of the ancient city, and 
then each of the fourteen wards or regions into which Rome 
was divided by Augustus. The architectural groups the 
monuments in classes, like temples, baths, tombs, bridges, 

Each system has its own advantages, and claims repre- 
sentative writers. The chronological order helps us to follow 
the progress of Roman architecture, from the rude attempts 
of Etruscan masons to the golden centuries of Agrippa and 
Apollodorus ; as well as the evolution of architectural types, 
from the round straw hut where the public fire was kept to the 
marble temple of Hestia roofed with tiles of bronze, from 
the casa Roniiili to the donms aurea of Nero. 

Dyer's History of Rome is mainly founded on this system. 
Compare also chapters iii. and iv. (pp. 24-59) of Richter's 
Topographie, Parker's Chronological Tables^ and Lanciani's 
Vicende edilizie di R. A} 

1 Dyer, Thomas H. — A History of the City of Rome : its Structures arid 
Monuments. London, Longmans, 1865. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Sulk vicende 
edilizie di Roma, reprinted from the Monografia archeologica e statistica di 
Roma e campagna. Rome. Tipogr. elzevir. 1878. Parker, John Henry — A 
Chronological Table of Buildings in Rome, ivith the Chief Contemporary Events, 
and an Alphabetical Index, reprinted from the Archaeology of Rome. Richter, 
Qiio — Topographie der Stadt Rom. Sep.-Abdr. aus dem Handbuch der 


The topographical system, which divides the city into 
regions and suburbs, is represented by Nardini and Canina.^ 
They describe first the fundamental lines : site, geology, 
climate, hydrography, the seven hills, the Kingly and Im- 
perial walls, the Tiber, the aqueducts^ the military roads 
radiating from the gates ; and then the monuments pertaining 
to the fourteen regiones. Their accounts are mainly founded 
on official statistics of the fourth century, of which we possess 
two editions (redaktionen). The first, known by the name of 
Notitia regiotium iirbis Romae cum breviariis siiis^ dates from 
A.D. 334; the second, called Ciiriosum iirbis Romae regiojium 
XIV cum breviariis suis, must have been issued in or after 
357, because it mentions the obelisk raised in that year in the 
Circus maximus. 

Literature. — Preller, Ludwig — Die Regionefi der Stadt Rom. Jena, 1846. 
Mommsen, TheoAor—Abkandhingen der sachs. Ges. d. W. , ii, 549; iii. 
269; viii. 694. Jordan, Heinrich — Topographic d . Stadt Romin Alterthum., 
Berlin, 1871, vol. ii. p. i. Guidi, Ignazio — // iesto siriaco della descrizione 
di Roma, in Bull, com., 1884, p. 218. Huelsen, Christian — // posto degli 
Arvali nel Colosseo, in Bull, com., 1894, p. 312. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Le 
quattordici 7-egioni urbaiie, in Bull, com., 1890, p. 115. 

The two documents give the number and name of each 
region, the name of edifices or streets which marked approxi- 
mately its boundary line, the number of parishes (vici), of 
parish magistrates (vico magistri), the number of tenement 
houses (insulae), palaces (domus), public warehouses (horrea), 
baths, fountains, bakeries, and the circumference of each regio 
in feet. For instance : 

" Regio V, the Esquiliae, contains : the fountain of Orpheus, 
the market of Livia, the nymphaeum of (Severus) Alexander, 
the (barracks of the) second cohors of Policemen (firemen), 

klassischen Alterthumwissenshaft, Bd. iii. Nordlingen, Beck, 1889, ch. iii., 
" Entwicklungsgeschichte, " and ch. iv. , " Zerstorungsgeschichte der Stadt." 
1 Nardini, Famiano — Roma antica di Famiaiio Nardini, fourth edition, 
revised by Nibby, Antonio, and illustrated by de Romanis, Antonio. Roma, 
de Romanis, 18 18 (four vols.) Canina, Luigi — Indicazione topograjica di 
Roma antica, fourth edition. Rome, Canina, 1850. 


the gardens of Pallans, the (street named from the) Hercules 
SuUanus, the amphitheatrum Castrense, the campus on the 
Viminal, the (street called) Subager, the (street called) Minerva 
Medica, the (street named from) Isis the patrician. The 
Esquiliae contain 15 parishes, 15 street-shrines, 48 parish 
officials and two higher officials (curatores), 3850 tenement 
houses, 180 palaces, 22 public warehouses, 25 baths, 74 
fountains, 15 bakeries. The Esquiliae measure 15,600 feet 
in circumference." 

Comparing these statistics with texts of classics, inscriptions, 
existing remains, accounts of former discoveries, plans and 
drawings of the artists of the Renaissance, and other sources 
of information, we are able to reconstruct, with surprising 
results, the topography of the whole city. 

The system, therefore, is highly commendable, and I follow 
it myself in my University course of lectures, as the one best 
calculated, from its simplicity and clearness, to make the student 
conversant with this branch of Roman archaeology. 

The third, or architectural, system takes each class of build- 
ings separately, and groups temples, theatres, fora, baths, etc., 
by themselves, irrespective of their position and their relation 
to other buildings. It might be compared to the study of a 
museum, like the museo Nazionale of Naples, in which statues 
are arranged by subjects, one room containing only Venuses, 
another only Fauns, etc. The system facilitates the compari- 
son of types and schools, and the study of the origin, progress, 
and decline of art among the Romans. 

The representative works of this kind are Nibby's Roma 
neir anno i8j8, and Canina's Edijizii di R. A} 

It *is impossible to deny that a system which may be use- 
ful for University work, and for a limited number of specialists, 
cannot also suit the student or the traveller who does not 

1 Nibby, Antonio — Roma 7ielV anno MDCCCXXXVlll, Parte prima antica, 
vols. i. , ii. Roma, 1838. Canina, Luigi — Gli edifizi di R . A. e sua campagna, 
in six fol. volumes. Rome, 1847-1854. 


visit our ruins by regions, but according to the main centres 
of interest and of actual excavations. Were we to follow the 
architectural system, in the strict sense of the word, we would 
be compelled to study the Forum with no regard to the temples, 
basilicas, and triumphal arches which lined its border or 
covered its area, because they belong to another class of 
structures. Suppose, again, we were bound to proceed in our 
study strictly by regions : we would be compelled to separate 
the Coliseum from its accessory buildings, in which gladiators, 
athletes, wild beasts and their hunters were quartered, fed, and 
trained ; from the armouries, in which gladiatorial and hunting 
weapons were made, kept, and repaired ; from the barracks of 
the marines of the fleet of Ravenna and Misenum, to whom 
the manoeuvring of the velaria was entrusted ; from the 
"morgue," whither the spoils of the slain in the arena were 
temporarily removed, — simply because the samiarium^ spo- 
liariuin^ and armanmitariiun belonged to the second regio; 
the amphitheatre itself, the castra Miseftatium, the sumimuti 
Choragium to the third ; the aniphitheatrum Castrense to the 
fifth ; the vivaruwi to the sixth. 

To avoid these difficulties, the compilers of the Beschreidung, 
as well as Becker, Burns, Jordan, Richter, Gilbert, Middleton, 
and others,^ have adopted a mixed system, taking the best 
from each of the three methods described above. They have 
divided and described the city in large sections, more or less 
connected by topographical or historical relationship. Richter, 
for instance, cuts ancient Rome in four parts : " das Zentrum," 
which embraces the Palatine and Capitoline hills, the Velia, 

^ Plainer, Bunsen, Gerhard, Rostell, Urlichs — Besch7-eibung der Stadt Rom. 
Stuttgart, 1 830- 1 842. Becker, Adolf — Handbuch der Romischeti Altherthilmer. 
ErsterTheil. Leipzig, 1843. Burns, Robert — Rome and the Campagna, 'London, 
1871. Old Rome, 1880. Second edition, 1895. Jordan, Heinrich — Topo- 
graphie der Stadt Rom in Alterthum,yo\s. i. ,i.^, ii. Berlin, 1871. Gilbert, 
Otto — Geschichte und topographie der Stadt Rom. 1883- 1885. Richter, 
Otto — Topographie der Stadt Rom. Nordhngen, 1889. Middleton, Henry — 
The Remains of Ancient Rovie. Two vols. London, 1892, 


the Circus maximus, and the great Fora of the Empire; 
"die Stadttheile am Tiber," which comprises the Aventine, the 
markets, the Campus Martius, and the transtiberine quarters; 
"der siidosten Roms," made up of the CaeHan and of the 
suburbs on the Appian way; and lastly "der osten Roms," 
with the Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal, and Pincian hills. 
Richter's scheme is plainly arbitrary, and might be varied ad 
libitum, without interfering with the spirit or diminishing the 
importance of his work. The same criticism applies to the 
other manuals of the same type. 

Considering that "facile est inventis addere," and that the 
experience of others must teach us how to find a better 
solution of the problem, I propose to adopt the following 

In Book I. the fundamental Hnes of Roman topography 
will be described : site, geology, configuration of soil, malaria, 
climate, rivers and springs, aqueducts and drains, walls and 

The Palatine hill, on which the city was founded and the 
seat of the Empire established in progress of time, will be 
visited next (Book II.) 

In Book III. a description of the Sacra via will be given, from 
its origin near the Coliseum to its end near the Capitolium. 
The Sacra via, the Forum (with its extensions), and the 
Capitoline hill contain the oldest relics of Kingly and 
Republican Rome. They are lined or covered by the grandest 
monuments of the Empire ; they have been largely, if not 
completely, excavated since 1870; and every inch of ground 
they cross or cover is connected with historical events. Be- 
ginning, therefore, from such centres of interest as the Palatine 
and the Sacra via, we follow successfully the chronological and 
topographical systems. 

The rest of the city will be described in Book IV. by the 
regions of Augustus in the following order : — 


1. The ruins of the CaeHan hill and its watershed towards 
the river Almo (regions I and II). 

2. The ruins of the Oppian (regio III). 

3. The Viminal, the Cespian, the Subura, and the vicus 
Patricius (regio IV). 

4. The Esquiline (regio V). 

5. The Quirinal and the Pincian, and their watershed 
towards the Tiber (regions VI and VII). 

6. The Campus Martins (regio IX). 

7. The markets, the docks, the warehouses, the harbour on 
the left bank of the river. 

8. The Circus maximus (regio XI). 

9. The Aventine (regions XII and XIII). 

10. The Transtevere (regio XIV). 

Each of these sections has a characteristic of its own. The 
Caelian may be called the region of barracks, the Esquiline 
the region of parks, the Quirinal and Aventine the abode of 
the aristocracy. The Coliseum and its dependencies occu- 
pied the greater portion of the Oppian. The Transtevere 
was the popular quarter " par excellence." Their description, 
therefore, from a topographical point of view, is not only 
rational but lends itself to the grouping of edifices built for 
the same object, and sometimes by the same man and at the 
same time. 

At all events, as it may suit the reader to study the monu- 
ments in a different order, I have added three indexes, in the 
first of which the monuments are named in topographical 
order, in the second according to their chronology, while in 
the third they are arranged (alphabetically) in architectural 
groups. The name of each is followed by the number of the 
page or section in which it is described. 

Before closing this brief preface, I must warn students 
against a tendency which is occasionally observable in books 
and papers on the topography of Rome — that of upsetting 


and condemning all received notions on the subject, in order 
to substitute fanciful theories of a new type. They must re- 
member that the study of this fascinating subject began with 
Poggio Bracciolini and Flavio Biondo early in the fifteenth 
century, and that in the course of four hundred and fifty 
years it must have been very closely investigated. In the 
preface to th.Q Indicazione topografica^ pp. 4-25 (1850), Canina 
registers 124 standard authorities, whose books would make a 
library of a thousand volumes. Since 1850 the number of 
such volumes has doubled. See in Narducci, Enrico, Biblio- 
grafia topografica di Roma a hst (imperfect) of those published 
between 1850 and 1880. The same bibliographer has given 
us a list (also imperfect) of over 400 works on the Tiber alone.^ 
In the fourteenth volume of the Archivio della Societa roma?ia 
di storia patria 424 publications on the history and topography 
of the city are catalogued for 189 1 alone. How is it possible 
that in four hundred and fifty years time the antiquaries of the 
Italian, German, and English schools, working harmoniously, 
should not have discovered the truth } This does not exclude 
the possibility that new researches, either on the ground or in 
libraries and archives, may reveal new data and enable the 
student to perfect the system of Roman topography in its 
details \ but great innovations are hardly to be expected. Yet 
there are people willing to try the experiment, only to waste 
their own time and make us lose ours in considering their 
attempts. Temples of the gods are cast away from their 
august seats, and relegated to places never heard of before ; 
gates of the city swept away in a whirlwind till they fly before 
our eyes like one of Dante's visions ; diminutive ruins are 
magnified into the remains of great historical buildings; 
designs are produced of monuments which have never existed. 
Let each of us be satisfied with a modest share in the work of 
reconstruction of the great city, remembering that both the 

1 Saggio di bibliograjia del Tevere di Enrico Narducci, Roma, Civelli, 1876. 


Roma softe?'j'anea Cristiana and Rome the capital of the 
Empire have long since found their Columbus. 

The periodicals and books most frequently quoted in this 
work are : — 

(Bull, com.) Bulletthio della Commissione archeologica comunale di Roma, 
1872-1895. 23 Vols., superbly illustrated. (Not. Scavi) Notizie degli Scavi 
di antichitd publicate per cura della r. accademia del Lincei, 1876-1895, 
20 vols., illustrated. (Bull. Inst.) Btillettino dell' Istituto di corrispondenza 
archeologica, 1829- 1885. 57 vols. (Ann. Inst.) Annali dell' Istituto di 
corrispondenza archeologica, 1829-1885. 54 vols. (Mittheil. ) Mitthei- 
lungen des kaiserlichDeutschenarchaeol. Instituts, Roemische Abtheilung-, 1886- 
1895. 10 vols., illustrated. (Jahrbuch) Jahrbuch des k. D. archael. htstituts, 
1886-1895. ID vols., illustrated (Denkmaeler). (F. U. R.) Forma Urbis 
Romae, consilio et auctoritate R. Academiae Lyncaeoriwi . . . edidit Rodul- 
phus Lanciani Rovianus, in 46 sheets. (C. I. L.) Corpus Inscriptiomim Latina- 
rum, vols, i., vi. i, 2, 3, 4, -xiv., and xv. t. 



















Map of Hydrography and Chorography of Ancient Rome . 

The Cliffs of the Capitoline Hill above " La Consolazione ' 

Section of the Quirinal Hill .... 

Curve of the Flood of December 1870 

Modern Embankment ..... 

Ancient Embankment ..... 

The Mouth of the Tiber at Fiumicino 

The Aemilian, Fabrician, Cestian Bridges, and the Island in 

the Tiber ....... 

The Stern of the Ship of Aesculapius 

Foundations of Bridge (?) above the Ponte Sisto 

The Incline to the Aelian Bridge from the Campus Martius 

(Left Bank) 

Bronze Head found in the Tiber 

Statue found in the Tiber .... 

The Course of the Cloaca maxima . 

The Latrina annexed to the Guest-rooms of the villa 

The Quarries of Travertine, Cava del Barco 

The " Opus Incertum " ..... 

The " Opus Reticulatum " . . . . 

Map of Aqueducts ...... 

The Channel of the aqua Appia under the Aventine 
The ponte Lupo ...... 

The Aqueducts at Roma vecchia 

The seven Aqueducts at the porta Maggiore 

Map of Walls 

Section of Walls ...... 

Section of Agger ...... 

Forum Boarium ...... 

The Ditch of the Agger of Servius . 

Walls of Servius on the Aventine 

The Covered Way of the Walls of Aurelian, vigna Casali . 

The porta S. Lorenzo, demolished 1869 .... 

Door of the First Century built into the Walls of Aurehan 
The two Towers at the Entrance to the Harbour of Rome 



34. Tower of Leo IV. in the Vatican Gardens. Bastions of Pius IV. 

in the Foreground 

35. The Fortifications of Laurentiopolis. By M. Heemskerk 

36. The French Army entering the porta S. Pancrazio, July 4th, 


y]. Sketch-map of the Fourteen Regions of Augustus 

38. The Fragment of the Marble Plan discovered by Castellani and 

Tocco in 1867 ........ 

39. The Remains of a Private House discovered under the Baths of 

Caracalla by G. B. Guidi, 1867 

40. Sketch-map of Excavations of Palatine .... 

41. Map of Ancient and Modern Divisions of the Palatine Hill 

42. Plan of Antemnae ........ 

43. Reservoir at Antemnae ....... 

44. Plan of Kingly Palatine 

45. A Village of Straw Huts near Gabii (Castiglione) 

46. Plan of the Terramara di Fontanellato .... 

47. A Fragment of the Marble Plan with clivus Victoriae and vicus 

Tuscus ......... 

48. Plan of the Augustaeum ....... 

49. General View of West Corner of Palatine Hill . 

50. Hut-urn from Alba Longa ...... 

51. Headless Statue of Cybele — found near her Temple on the 

Palatine ......... 

52. The Cybele from Formiae ...... 

53. Plan of the domus Augustana, Ground-floor 

54. Plan of the domus Tiberiana and of the domus Gaiana 

55. A Graffito of the domus Tiberiana ..... 

56. The Remains of the Palace of Caligula, seen from the Sacra 

via .......... 

57. A Corner of the Palace of Caligula according to Rosa's Map 

58. The same, designed in Sheet xxix. of the "Forma Urbis" 

59. A Brick-stamp of John VII 

60. Plan of Domitian's Palace ...... 

61. The horti Adonaea, a fragment of the Marble Plan of Rome 
•62. Plan of the horti Adonaea (?), according to Ligorio . 
■63. The Church of S. Caesarius in Palatio .... 
64. The Torre Cartularia in the Sixteenth Century 
■65. Headless Statue of a Muse discovered in the so-called Stadium 
•66. Female Head of Greek Workmanship discovered in the so- 
called Stadium . . . . . . . . -179 

67. Substructures of the Palace of Septimius Severus, as seen from 

the Aventine i8i 




68. The Remains of the aedes Severianae and of the Septizonium, 

from a Sketch by Du Cerceau ...... 

69. The Aqueduct of the Palatine across the Valley of S. Gregorio 

70. Plan of domus Gelotiana ...... 

71. One of the Walls of Paedagogium with Greek and Latin Graffit 

72. Map of Sacra via ........ 

'j'^. The Arch of Constantine in Botticelli's " Castigo del fuoco 
Celeste," Sixtine Chapel ...... 

74. Plan of Temple of Venus and Rome .... 

75. Bas-relief with Temple of Venus and Rome . . . 

76. Arch of Titus — Temple of Jupiter Stator in the Bas-relief of 

the Haterii ........ 

'Jl. Plan of Neighbourhood of the Arch of Titus . 

78. The Summa Sacra via, with Arch of Titus and Temple of 

Jupiter Stator ........ 

79. Plan of Constantine's Basilica ..... 

80. The Basilica of Constantine at the Time of Paul V. 

81. The arco di Latrone under the Basilica of Constantine . 

82. Plan of Clivus Sacer ....... 

83. Plan of porticus Margaritaria ..... 

84. The Portico of the Heroon Romuli .... 

85. Plan of SS. Cosma e Damiano ..... 

86. The Church of SS. Cosma e Damiano in the Middle Ages 

87. The Church of SS. Cosma e Damiano at the end of Sixteenth 

Century ......... 

88. The Frieze of the Temple of Faustina .... 

89. Graffiti on the Carystian Columns of Temple of Faustina 

90. The Regia, as designed by Pirro Ligorio 

91. Temples of Vesta and Castores — Auer's Reconstruction . 

92. Plan of Atrium and Temple of Vesta .... 

93. Map of Forum and of basilica Julia .... 

94. The Margo of the Forum ...... 

95. The Fragments of the Marble Plutei, discovered September 1872 

96. One of the Marble Plutei, after Restoration .... 

97. The Rostra as represented in a Bas-relief of the Arch of 


98. The' Column of Phocas — the Marble Plutei in the Foreground 

99. Plan of the Senate-house, rebuilt by Diocletian 
100. The Marble Incrustations of the Senate-hall . 

loi. Details of Cornice of the Senate-hall .... 

102. The rostra Julia and the Temple of Caesar 

103. Fragment of the Marble Plan with Temple of Castores . 

104. The Substructure of the Temple of Castores . 













The South-west Corner of the basilica Julia . 

General View of the basilica Julia ..... 

The Church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus, designed by 

Heemskerk ........ 

Pedestals of Columns, Arch of Severus .... 

A Fruiterer's Shop under the Arch of vSeverus 

The clivus Capitolinus, now concealed by the modern (1880) 

Causeway ......... 

The Frieze of the Temple of Vespasian .... 

The porticus Consentium ...... 

Old Gate of Tabularium blocked by Temple of Vespasian 
Remains of Platform of Capitolium in the Garden of the 

Caffarelli Palace ....... 

The Venus Genetrix by Arkesilaos — a Fragment in the museo 

delle Terme ........ 

Plan of the forum Augustum ...... 

The South Hemicycle of the forum Augustum, excavated i 

The forum Transitorium, a Sketch by Boscolo 

The forum Traiani ....... 

Frieze from the basilica Ulpia (Lateran Museum) . 
Frieze from the basilica Ulpia (Lateran Museum) . 
Heads of Animals discovered in the Forum of Trajan 
Map of Regions I., porta Capena, and 11., Caelimontium 
Sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus in the Vatican 
Plan of the Tomb of the Scipios, according to Piranesi . 
Tomb of the Scipios (Present State) .... 

Portrait Bust of Scipio the elder (Capitoline Museum) 
The Columbaria discovered in the vigna Codini, May 1852 
One of the Courts of the Palace of the Laterans, discovered 

1877. • • 

The campus Lateranensis about 1534 . . . . 
Plan of the House of SS. John and Paul, and of the Church 

built above it ....... . 

A View of the Church and Monastery of S. Gregorio in the 

First Half of the Sixteenth Century .... 

The Substructures of the Claudium, West Side 

S. Stefano rotondo. Inner View ..... 

Plan of S. Stefano rotondo ...... 

Map of Region IH. , Isis et Serapis .... 

Nymphaeum discovered near the via della Polveriera 

Plan of the Golden House and of the Baths of Titus and Trajan 

A View of the South Wing of the domus Aurea 

Plan of Western Section of the Flavian Amphitheatre 





141. The Shell of the Coliseum after the Collapse of the Western 

Arcades .......... 

142. The Insignia of the Compagnia del Salvatore on the Coliseum 

143. Stone Cippi surrounding the Coliseum . . . . 

144. Step-seat of the Coliseum, with the Name of a Fabius Insteius 

145. Wooden Floor discovered in 1874 in the Substructures of the 

Arena of the Coliseum ...... 

146. Palladio's Diagrams of the Amphitheatrum Castrense 

147. Plan of the ludus Magnus ...... 

148. Remains of Public Baths near S. Pudenziana 

149. Ruins discovered in 1684 on the Line of the via Graziosa 

150. Map of the Parks and Gardens of Ancient Rome . 

151. Ligorio's Perspective View of the horti Variani 

152. The horti Variani, vigna Conti, by S. Croce in Gerusalemme 

153. Statue of a Roman Magistrate of the Fourth Century giving the 

Signal for a Chariot Race ...... 

154. Columbaria discovered in 1872 on the Site of the horti 

Liciniani ......... 

155. Statue of Shepherdess discovered in the horti Vettiani 

1 56. Bust of Commodus from the horti Lamiani 

157. Statuette of a Girl from the horti Lamiani 

158. The Conservatory of the Gardens of Maecenas 

159. The Fountain of Pontios the Athenian, discovered in the 

Gardens of Maecenas ....... 

160. Part of the Marble Throne of the Venus Sallustiana, now ii 

the Ludovisi Museum ....... 

161. A Group of Pines in the villa Ludovisi, cut down in 1887 

162. Cliffs on the South Side of the vallis Sallustiana, before th 

Construction of the New Quarters .... 

163. The " Parnaso " or Nymphaeum of the villa Aldobrandini a 

Frascati ......... 

164. The Substructures of the Gardens of the Acilii Glabriones on 

the Pincian. A Sketch by Valadier .... 

165. Map of the Vlth Region — alta Semita .... 

166. The Ruins of the Temple of the vSun in the Sixteenth Century 

167. The Dioscuri of the Quirinal, as they appeared in 1546 . 

168. The Tepidarium of the Baths of Diocletian, before its Trans 

formation into the Church of S. M. degli Angeli . 

169. Group of Cypresses in the Cloisters of La Certosa . 

170. Remains of the Castra Praetoria : North-east Corner of the 

Quadrangle . ....... 

171. The Walls of the Praetorian Camp, with Aurelian's Super 

structure . . . 



172. One of the Victories from the Arch of Gordianus III. . . 442 

173. Map of the IXth Region — campus Martins and circus Flaminius 442 

174. Plan of the ara Ditis et Proserpinae 449 

175. Fragments of the Pulvini of the ara Ditis .... 450 

176. Architectural Details of the circus Flaminius .... 455 

177. The Inscription of Anicius Faustus, from the circus Flaminius (?) 456 

178. A Fragment of the Forma Urbis showing Round Temple of 

Hercules .......... 457 

179. The Finding of the Bronze Statue of the Hercules Magnus 

Gustos, August 8th, 1864 459 

180. The Shrine of the Hercules Invictus, discovered 1889 on the 

via Portuensis ......... 460 

181. The so-called Pompey the Great of the palazzo Spada . . 462 

182. The Mausoleum of Augustus, turned into a Garden by the 

Soderini about 1550 ........ 465 

183. The ara Pacis Augustae — details ...... 469 

184. The ara Pacis Augustae — details ...... 470 

185. Plan of the first (red) and of the third (black) Pantheon . . 476 

186. The Pantheon flooded by the Tiber 479 

187. The Pantheon at the Time of Urban VIII. (1625) . . .484 

188. The Bronze Trusses of the Pronaos of the Pantheon, from a 

Sketch by Dosio ........ 485 

189. The Remains of Raphael, discovered September 14th, 1833 . 487 

190. The Temple of Neptune : an Unfinished Study by Vespignani 491 

191. Remains of the Hall of the Theatre of Marcellus, from a Sketch 

by Du Perac (1575) 494 

192. Arcades of the Theatre of Balbus, from a Sketch by Sangallo 

the elder .......... 496 

193. Forma Urbis, Fragment 115 . . . . . . . 497 

194. Remains of the crypta Balbi, designed by Sangallo the elder . 498 

195. Remains of the Stadium discovered 1869 at the South End of 

the piazza Navona ........ 500 

196. The Nile of the Braccio Nuovo — a Fragment . . . . 503 

197. A Round Temple or Hall designed by Giovannoli in 1619 near 

the palazzo Capranica ....... 505 

198. The so-called Arch of M. Aurelius on the Corso, designed by 

Ligorio .......... 507 

199. Map of the Harbour of Rome . . . . . .511 

200. Temple of Fortuna — Details of the Order . . . -517 

201. The Excavations of 1827 in the Temple of Mater Matuta, from 

a Sketch by Valadier . . . . . , -519 

202. The Janus of the forum Boarium, the Arch of vSeverus, and 

the Church of S. Giorgio, from a Sketch by H. Heemskerk 521 



203. Plan of S. Maria in Cosmedin ...... 523 

204. S. Maria in Cosmedin in the Sixteenth Century . . . 524 

205. The Wharf for landing Marbles on the Banks of the campus 

Martius 528 

206. Map of the thermae Antoninianae ...... 535 

207. Part of the Building discovered by Guidi under the Baths of 

Caracalla .......... 536 

208. A Leaf from Palladio's Sketch-book (Baths of Caracalla) . 538 

209. Capital of the Composite Order from the Tepidarium of 

Caracalla's Baths . . . . . . . . 540 

210. Palladio's Plan of the thermae Decianae .... 545 

211. Capital from the Basement of Hadrian's Tomb . . . 555 

212. Diagram showing the Order in which the Imperial Tombstones 

were placed in the Mausoleum ...... 557 

213. The Girandola at the Castle of S. Angelo, from an Engraving 

by Lauro (1624) 559 

214. The Mausoleum of Hadrian and the Meta in Raphael's "Vision 

of Constantine " ........ 560 

215. The prati di Castello in 1870 561 

216. The prati di Castello in 1890 562 




I. Site — Geology — Configuration of Soil. — During the 
subapennine or quaternary period a powerful stream came down 
from the mountains, on the line of a rent or fissure which 
separated the Ciminian from the Alban volcanoes. The stream, 
from I GOO to 2000 metres wide and 30 deep, emptied itself 
into the sea between Ponte Galera and Dragoncello. By the 
combined action of the main flood and of its tributaries, portions 
of the tableland on the east or left bank became detached and 
formed small islands, while the edge of the bank itself was furrowed 
and serrated into promontories and inlets. Such is the origin of 
the isolated hills, since called Capitoline, Palatine, Aventine, and 
Caelian ; and of the promontories projecting from the tableland, 
called Pincian, Quirinal, Viminal, Cespian, and Oppian. The 
Vatican and the Janiculum on the west or right bank are less 
irregular, because they had to withstand the action of the main 
stream alone, and not of side tributaries. 

When men first appeared in these lands the quaternary river 
had diminished almost to the size and volume of the historical 
Tiber, and the hills had been reduced to a definite shape ; but the 
bottom of the valleys remained swampy, so as to be easily flooded 
by freshets. The marshes of the Velabra^ the Caprae palus^ the 
Decen?nae, and other ponds are evidence of this state of things. 
The mouth of the river was still near Ponte Galera, 1 2 kilom. farther 
inland than the present one. The first human settlement, " dove 
I'acqua di Tevere s'insala," called Ficana, stood on the hill of 
Dragoncello, opposite Ponte Galera. The dim remoteness of these 
events is shown by the fact that when Ancus Marcius, the fourth 
(& B 



king, founded Ostia, as a substitute for Ficana, the mouth of the 
liver had already advanced seawards 5310 metres. 


It is difficult to reconstruct in one's mind the former aspect of 
the site of Rome, as hills have been lowered, valleys filled up, and 
cliffs turned into gentle slopes. By means of borings made in 


1872,1 and of my own investigations into the depths of the founda- 
tions of modern buildings, I have ascertained that the promontories 
and the isolated hills were faced — at least on the river side — by 
sheer walls of rock, of which there are a few specimens left at the 
south-west front of the Capitoline, and on the west sides of the 
Palatine and Aventine. In other words, the site of Rome was 
like that of Veii and Faleria, with narrow dales enclosed by craggy 
cliffs, shadowed by evergreens, and made damp and unhealthy 
by swamps and unruly rivers (Fig. 2). 

The other hills, the Quirinal, Viminal, Pincian, etc., were not 
different in shape, as shown by the following section taken across 
the Quirinal, from the piazza Barberini to the corner of the via 
Nazionale :— 

:3000 Altitudes. 


Within the limits of the old city there were seven hills, of which 
those isolated were called 7nontes (Palatine, Capitoline, Aventine, 
and Caelian), those connected with the tableland were called 
colles (Quirinal and Viminal). The Esquiline is an exception to 
the rule, being counted among the montes, although connected 
with the tableland. In regard to altitude above sea-level they 
stand in the following order : — 

Quirinal, porta Pia . . . . . . 63 05 

Viminal, rly. Station 
[Oppian, the Sette Sale . 

Esquiline, S. Maria Maggiorc 
[Cespian, via Quattro Cantoni 

Palatine, S. Bonaventura 

Caelian, villa Mattel 

Capitoline, the Aracoeli 

Aventine, S. Alessio 


55 "02] 

50 00 


45 '92 

^ Canevari, Raffaele — Atti Accadeitiia Li?icei, serie ii. vol 

p. 429. 


Other summits on the left bank :— 

Pincian hill at the villa Medici . . . . 56*33 

Pincian hill at the porta Pinciana . . . . 6305 

The so-called pseudo-Aventine by S. Saba . . 43 'go 

Monte d'Oro, above the porta Metroni . . . 46*00 

Monte Citorio . . . . . . . 24*34 

Before the construction of the central railway station, the highest 
point on the left bank was an artificial hill called the monte della 
Giustizia, the work of Diocletian and of Sixtus V. It rose to the 
height of 73 metres, and bears the name of " altissimus Romae 
locus" in Bufalini's map (1551). On the other side of the river, 
the ridge called the vions Vaticantis rises to the height of 146 
metres at the fort of monte Mario, of 75 metres at the top of the 
pope's gardens. The Janiculum measures 89 metres at the villa 
Savorelh-Heyland, 81*73 at the porta di S. Pancrazio. 

Rome stands at an equal distance from the sea and the moun- 
tains, in the middle of an undulating plain deeply furrowed by 
ravines. This plain, 47 kilometres wide and 60 long, is bordered on 
the north side by the Sabatine volcanic range (Rocca romana, 601 
metres ; monte Calvi, 590 ; m. Virginio, 540) ; on the east side by 
the limestone pre-Apennines (m. Gennaro, 1 269 ; m. Aefliano, 598 ; 
m. Guadagnolo, 1 2 1 8 ; the citadel of Praeneste at Castel S. Pietro, 
766) ; on the south-east side by the Alban hills, the highest summit 
of which is not m. Cavo (940), as generally supposed, but the 
Punta delle Faette, 950 metres. 

Students who visit Rome for the first time would do well to take at 
once a general survey of the seven hills, of the plain, of its border of 
mountains and sea, from the dome of S. Peter's, from the campanile 
of S. Maria Maggiore, or from the tower of the Capitol, which is 
easier of access and has a more interesting foreground (open 
every day from ten to three). The landmarks of the panorama 
can be singled out by referring to — 

Henry Kiepert's Carta co?'ogr. ed archeol. deW Italia centrale, i : 250,000. 
Berlin, Reimer, 1881. ILwnco AhaXe's Guida della provincia di Roma. Rome, 
Salviucci, 1890. Map in two sheets. Second ed. 1893. Maps of the Istituto 
geografico militare, i : 100,000 and i : 50,000. (The map i : 10,000 is not 
in the market.) The best for use is the Carta topograjica dei dintorni di 
Roma, in 9 sheets, i : 25,000. 

The highest peaks visible from Rome are the monte Terminillo, 
above Rieti, 2213 metres high, and the m. Velino, above Avezzano, 
2487 metres. They usually keep their shining coat of snow till 
the middle of May. 


Literature. — Brocchi, Giovanni — Dello statojisico del suolo di Roma. Rome, 
1820. Canevari, Raffaele — Ceiini sulle condizioni althnetriche ed idrauliche 
delV agro romano. Rome, 1874. (Annali Ministero agricoltura. ) Giordano, 
Yelice— Condizioni topograjiche ejlsiche di Roma e Campagna. Monografia della 
citta di Roma, 1881, pp. i.-lxxxvi. Mantovani, Paolo — Descrizione geologica 
della Campagna romana, Rome, Loescher, 1874 I ^^^ Costituzione geologica 
del suolo romano, 1878. Murray's Handbook of Rome, ed. 1875, p. 349. 
Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. pp. 1-65, 207-300. Rome, 1838. 
Beckev, AdoM—Topographie derStadt Rome, p. 81. (Lage, Weichbild, Klima. ) 
Jordan, Heinrich — Topographie d. S. R., vol. i. pp. 117-152. (Lage, Boden, 
Klima.) Richter, Otto — Topographie d. S. R., p. 18. (Lageund Formation.) 

There are two museums of geology and mineralogy — one in the University 
(della Sapienza), consisting of the collections of Belli, Brocchi, and Spada, and 
of a bequest of Leo XIL ; the other in the former convent della Vittoria, via 
S. Susanna, second floor : open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. 

IL Geology. — There are four geological formations in the 
district of Rome, with which the student must become familiar 
if he wishes to understand at once some important peculiarities of 
Roman masonry and architecture. They are the secondary or 
limestone, the tertiary or argillaceous, the volcanic, and the 
quaternary or diluvial formations. 

The limestone is best examined at Monticelli, the ancient Cor- 
niculum, the fourth station on the Sulmona line. The rock, slightly 
dolomitised, is white at the base of the hill, with terebratulae in 
great numbers ; reddish in the middle, with a dozen varieties of 
ammonites ; and white again at the summit, with terebratulae and 
traces of the anomalous fossil aptychus. The lime of Monticelli, 
from the Caprine kilns, mixed with pozzolana, makes Roman 
structure " aere perennius." The argillaceous formation, is con- 
spicuous in the Vatican and Janiculum ridges, the Monti della 
creta (clay hills) of the present day. A walk through the extensive 
quarries of the valle delP Inferno and the valle del Gelsomino will 
show the student the details of the formation, rich in pteropodus 
molluscs, and will make him appreciate the vastness of the work 
of man, since bricks were first accepted as an essential element of 
Roman masonry. As the valle di Pozzo Pantaleo has been bodily 
excavated through the hills of Monteverde by the quarrymen, sup- 
plying tufa for the " opus quadratum " and the " opus reticulatum," 
so the valleys of the Gelsomino, delle Fornaci, delle Cave, della 
Balduina, and dell' Inferno have been hollowed out of the clay hills 
by the ancient, Renaissance, and modern bricklayers. (See Bull, 
com.., 1892, p. 288, and § xi. on Building Materials.) The 
pliocene marls of the Vatican ridge abound in fossils ; they can 
easily be gathered along the via Trionfale opposite the Croce di 


monte Mario, or in the cuttings of the Viterbo railway, at the top 
of the valle dell' Inferno. 

The volcanic formation is represented in, or near, Rome by 
three kinds of tufa — the red or lithoid, the yellowish or granular, 
the greyish or lamellar ; and by two kinds of pozzolana — the red 
and the black. The surface of tufa beds, soft and unfit for building 
purposes, is called " cappellaccio." The tufa quarries of S. Saba, 
the largest within the walls, were abandoned in 1889 ; the largest 
still in use are those of Monteverde, outside the porta Portese, and 
of S, Agnese, outside the porta Pia. The best kind of pozzolana 
is quarried near the Tre Fontane. Diluvial or quaternary deposits 
abound on each side of the Tiber. The cliffs of the monti Parioli, 
between the villa di papa Giulio and the Acqua acetosa, as well as 
the gravel pits of ponte Molle and ponte Nomentano, are best 
adapted for the study of this late formation, so rich in fossil 
mammalia, like the clephas^ the rhinoceros tichorimis^ the bos 
primigenius^ the hippopotamus, the lynx, etc. It is well to 
remember that the flint arrow-heads found in the gravel at ponte 
Molle do not belong to a local race, but were washed down from 
pre-Apennine stations by the flood. 

Travertine, the king of Roman building materials, is best 
studied at the Cava del Barco, near the stazione dei Bagni 
of both Tivoli railways. 

Zezi, Pietro — Indice bibliografico delle publicaziojii j-iguardanti la minera- 
logia, la geologia e la paleoetnologia della provincia di Roma. (MonograOa 
di Roma, vol. i. p. clxiii. ) 

III. Malaria. — The Romans did not deny the unhealthiness 
of the district in the midst of which their city was built. Cicero 
calls it "a pestilential region," and Pliny likewise calls the Maremma 
" heavy and pestilential." The hills were comparatively healthy 
(" colles in regione pestilenti salubres, colles saluberrimi," Livy, 
v. 54) ; still, the effects of malaria, increased by ignorance or 
contempt of sanitary rules, must have been felt also by the 
settlers on the Palatine, Esquiline, and Quirinal. Under Tiberius 
there were three temples of Fever left standing — one on the 
Palatine, one near the church of S. Eusebio, the third near the 
church of S. Bernardo ; but they represented the memory of 
past miseries rather than actual need of help from the gods, 
because, long before the time of Tiberius, Rome and the Campagna 
had been made healthy in a large measure ; and when Horace 
(^EpisL, i. 7, 7) describes Rome as half deserted in the summer 


months, he refers to the habit of the citizens of migrating to their 
hih farms or sea-coast villas, to escape depressing heat rather than 
malaria. This summer emigration e7i 7nasse is still characteristic 
of Rome. Sixty thousand citizens left in 1893 for an average 
period of forty days : one-seventh of the whole population. 

Sanitary reform was accomplished, first, by the draining 
of marshes and ponds ; secondly, by an elaborate system of 
sewers ; thirdly, by the substitution of spring water for that of 
polluted wells ; fourthly, by the paving and multiplication of 
roads ; fifthly, by the cultivation of land ; sixthly, by sanitary 
engineering, applied to human dwellings ; seventhly, by sub- 
stituting cremation for burial ; eighthly, by the drainage of the 
Campagna ; and lastly, by the organisation of medical help. 
The results were truly wonderful. Pliny says that his villeg- 
giatura at Laurentum was equally delightful in winter and 
summer, while the place is now a hotbed of malaria. Antoninus 
Pius and M. Aurelius preferred their villa at Lorium (Castel di 
Guido) to all other Imperial residences, and the correspondence 
of P^ronto proves their presence there in midsummer. No one 
would try the experiment now. The same can be said of 
Hadrian's villa below Tivoli, of the villa Quinctiliorum on the 
Appian way, of that of Lucius Verus at Acqua Traversa, etc. 
The Campagna must have looked in those happy days like a 
great park, studded with villages, farms, lordly residences, temples, 
fountains, and tombs (see Aiicie7it Rome^ chs. iii. and x.) 

The cutting of the aqueducts by the barbarians, the consequent 
abandonment of suburban villas, the permanent insecurity, the 
migration of the few survivors under cover of the city walls, and 
the choking up of drains, caused a revival of malaria. Mediaeval 
Romans found themselves in a condition worse than that of the 
first builders of the city ; and being neither able nor willing to 
devise a remedy, as their ancestors had done, they raised their 
helpless hands towards heaven, and built a chapel in honour of Our 
Lady of the Fever (see Ancient Rome^ p. 53). 

The present generation has once more conquered the evil, and 
has made Rome the best drained, the best watered, the healthiest 
capital of Europe, except London. This statement may not be 
agreeable to those who systematically and deliberately condemn 
whatever has been done by us since 1870; but they would do 
well to accept facts as they are. Comm. Luigi Bodio, Director 
of the State Department of Statistics, has favoured me with the 
following official declaration : — 


"Rome, \oth Nov. 1894. 

"From 1st January i860 to 31st December 1869, in an 
average population of 205,229, there were 5477 average annual 
births, 5946 deaths. Rate of births, 2670 per thousand; of 
deaths, 29 per thousand. 

"Between 1890 and 1893, in an average population of 
437)355 souls, there were 11,678 births, 9791 deaths per annum. 
Rate of births, 2670 per thousand; of deaths, 22-38. This 
last figure includes the floating population, and, above all, the 
peasants who come down from their mountains to cultivate the 
Maremma, and furnish the heaviest percentage to the hospital 
lists. The fate of deaths among the resident population is only 
J 9'4S per thousand., while in London it rose to 20-37, in Vienna 
to 21-53, in Berlin to 23-09, in Paris to 23-80."! 

Literature. — Balestra, Pietro — Ligiene nella citta e campagna di Roma. 
1875. Baccelli, Guido — La malaria di Ro7na (Monografia di Roma), 1881, 
vol. i. p. 149. Brocchi, Giovanni — Discorso sulla condizione dell' aria di 
Roma nei tempi antichi. 1820. Ferrari, Stefano — Condizioni igieniche del 
clima di Roma (Monografia di Roma), 1881, vol. i. p. 316. Lanciani, 
Rodolfo — Di alcune opere di risanamento dell' agro romano. Atti Lincei, 
1879. Th^ Sanitary Condition of Rome: Ancient Rome, p. 49. Lanzi- 
Terrigi — La malaria e il clima di Roma. Roma, 1877. Scalzi, Francesco 
— Malattie predominanti in Roma. Roma, 1878. Secchi, Angelo — Intorno 
ad alcune opere idi-auliche antiche rinvenute nella campag?ia di Roma. 
Tommasi Crudeli, Corrado — The Climate of Rome and the Roman Malaria. 
(Translated by Charles Cramond Dick. London, Churchill, 1892. ) Lantica 
fognatura delle colli?ie romane. Atti Lincei, vol. x. , 1881. Alcune rijlessioni 
su I clima dell' antica Roma. Mittheil. , 1877, p. 'j'j. L'ancien drainage des 
collines romaines. Melanges de I'Ecole fran9aise, 1882. Wendt, Charles 
Edmund — The New Rome and the question of Roman Fever. New York, 
1892. Tournon, Philippe — Etudes statistiques sur Rome. Paris, 1855, 
vol. i. pp. 223, 230. 

IV. Climate. — The climate seems to have been more severe 
in ancient times than now. Dionysius {Fragm.., 1. xii. 8) describes 
a blizzard which covered the ground with seven feet of snow. Men 
died of cold, sheep and cattle were frozen, and many houses fell 
under the weight of their snowy pall. He speaks probably of the 
year 401 B.C., which Livy (v. 13) calls " insignis hieme gelida 
ac nivosa," when even the Tiber became a mass of ice. In 271 
snow lay on the Forum for forty days.^ On 12th January 
67 B.C. the meeting of the Senate was adjourned on account 

1 Death-rate in 1886 — London, 19-8 ; Rome, 20 o ; Paris, 24-6 ; Berlin, 
25-8; Vienna. 262; Petersburg, 30-6; Buda-Pest, 39-4. 
- See Augustine, de civ. Dei, iii. 17. 


of the cold which prevailed in the Curia} The severity of 
another winter, perhaps that of 19 B.C., is described by Horace 
{Od.^ i. 9). Martial's epigram, iv. 18, commemorates the fate of 
a youth transfixed by an icicle. Such excesses of temperature are 
not recorded in modern days. Between 1828 and 1877 the 
lowest registered was 8°-2 5 Centigrade (February 1845), the 
highest 42°, a most extraordinary case, which happened on 
July 17th, 1 84 1. The mean annual temperature is 16° -40. 
In the course of the day the mercury rises quickly in the 
morning and falls slowly after noon. In summer there are two 
maximums — one from twelve to one o'clock, the other towards 
nine P.M. The temperature is always lowest at sunrise. 

Rain is most frequent in November, heaviest in October. 
There are 155 cloudless days in the year, 122 misty, 83 cloudy. 
Maximum rainfall (1872), 1050-30 millimetres ; minimum (1834), 
319-45. In summer time the land breeze blows from early 
morning to nine A.M., the sea breeze from eleven to six. These 
refreshing winds make Rome more comfortable in summer than 
other cities of much higher latitudes. 

V. Hydrography — Rivers, Springs, Ponds, Marshes. — 
The Tiber rises from the monte Coronaro, at the height of 
1 167 metres above the sea, and reaches Rome after a winding 
course of 373 kilometres, through Etruria, Umbria, and Sabina. 
The mean breadth of the river in the city district was 80 metres 
(now 100 metres between the embankments), its average depth 
3 metres, total length from springs to sea 393 kilometres. 
Below Rome it expands into a channel 120 metres wide, 
navigated by steamers and coasting-vessels of 100 tons' burden. 
Ceselli's observations, from March 1871 to February 1872, state 
the daily average outflow of the river at 1,296,000 cubic metres. 
During the same year 8,582,333 tons of sand and mud were 
washed down to the sea, a volume of over 4,000,000 cubic 
metres. This state of things and the prevalence of south- 
westerly winds makes the coast advance westwards at a consider- 
able rate. We have just seen that Ficana, the oldest human 
station near the bar of the river, is now 12,000 metres inland, 
and kingly Ostia 6600 metres. The Torre di S. Michele, built 
in 1567 by Michaelangelo on the edge of the sands, stands 
2000 metres away from the present shore ; the Torre Clementina 
at Fiumicino, built in 1773, "in ipso maris supercilio," stands 

^ Cicero, ad Quint, fratr., ii. 12. 


690 metres inland. 1 The average yearly increase of the coast 
at the Ostia mouth is 9-02 metres, at the Fiumicino mouth 
3-10 metres. 

Literature. — Ponzi, Giuseppe — Storia geologica del Tevere, in Giornale 
arcadico, vol. xviii. p. 129. Dell' Aniene e de siwi relitti : ibid. Aubert — 
Roma e I'inondazione del Tevere, Giornale arcad., vol. Ixvi. p. 142. Betocchi, 
Alessandro — Deljiiime Tevere, Monografia di Roma, vol. i. p. 197. Effemei-idi 
del Tevere, published yearly by the Accademia dei Lincei. Ceselli, Marco — 
Bullettino nautico e geografico di Roma, vol. vi. n. 3. Fea, Carlo — Storia 
delle acque. Roma, 18 17. Lanciani, Rodolfo — / cotnentarii di Fronti7io 
intorno le acque e gli acqiiedotti. Rome, Salviucci, 1880, pp. 3-28. Narducci, 
Alessandro, published, in 1876, an essay on the bibliography of the Tiber 
{Saggio di bibliografia del Tevere, Roma, Civelli), in which over 400 works are 
registered. Their number may be stated now at 700. The best library for 
consultation on the subject is the Biblioteca del Ministero dei Lavori publici, 
piazza di S. Silvestro. There is a special department in Rome for the works 
and embankment of the Tiber, with a good collection of maps and diagrams 
(Ufficio tecnico speciale per la sistemazione del Tevere. Via di Ripetta, n. 
222 c). 

The inundations are the great historical feature of the Tiber. 

From the traditional flood, in the course of which Romulus 
and his twin-brother were exposed to the waters under the rocks 
of the Palatine, to the beginning of the Christian era, twenty-six 
inundations are recorded; thirty from i to 500 A.D. ; twenty-one 
from 500 to 1000; twenty-three from 1000 to 1500; thirty-two 
from 1500 to the present day : a total of one hundred and thirty- 
two. The worst of which we have the measurement reached 
the following altitudes at the hydrometer of Ripetta (ordinary 
level of water 670 metres) : — 


December 1280 ....... 16 02 

November 1376 . 


December 1495 


October 1530 


September 1557 




January 1606 


February 1637 

17 "55 

November 1660 


November 1668 


December 1702 


February 1805 


December 1846 


December 1870 


' The coast has increased about ;; 

90 m 

etres since 

rst Aj 

)ril 1857, when an 

official survey was taken by the local collector of customs. 


The flood of 1598, the highest recorded in history, began 
on Christmas eve ; at noon the next day there were 6'5o metres 
of flood in the via di Ripetta, 6-58 metres at the Pantheon, 5-28 
metres at the piazza Navona, 4-56 metres on the Corso by S. 
Lorenzo in Lucina. A boat went ashore in the piazza di Spagna, 
where the fontana della Barcaccia was erected by Bernini to 
commemorate the event ; two arches of the pons AemiHus were 
overthrown at three P.M. on the 24th, a few seconds after card. 
Pietro Aldobrandino had crossed it to rescue some famihes sur- 
rounded by the foaming waters. Houses were washed away by 
hundreds, 700 persons drowned in the city, 800 in the suburbs, 
besides thousands of cattle. As usual, famine and pestilence 
followed the flood. 

In the flood of 1702, which rose only to 15 "41 metres, 
fifty-two streets and squares were submerged on the left bank, 
north of the Capitol, eighty-five south of that hill, and sixty-two 
on the other side of the river. 

The last flood, on December 28th and 29th, 1870, which gave 
rise to King Victor Emmanuel's first visit to his new capital on a 
merciful errand, marks another important date in the history of the 
city, because to it we owe the construction of the new embank- 
ments, which, when finished, will have cost the state, the county, 
and the city over 200,000,000 lire. The curve of the flood of 
1870 is represented in this diagram : — 

Hours 'B ^ <c ^ 'c ^ ^ ^ 

Days S 

Months December 1870 January 1871 


The event is too recent to require a description. It brought 
to our minds the floods so often mentioned by the Me?' poittijicalis, 
when the waters, breaking through the walls at the posterula 
sancti Martini (Ripetta), would dash against the clifls of the 
Capitol, ita ut iit via lata (Corso) ajupHiis quaiii diias staturas 
(3-30 vi\t.\.x^-i) flimiinis aqua cxcrevisset (a.d. 772). 


Literature.— PascoH, Leone — // Tevere navigato. Roma, 1740. Alveri, 
Gasparo — Delle i?tondaziofii del Tevere. (Roma in ogni stato, vol. i. p. 571.) 
Grifi, Antonio — Iljiume Tevere ?ielle sue piu memorabili inondazioni. Album, 
vol. iv. pp. 29, 390. Tournon, Philippe — A f tides siatisiiques sur Rome, vol. ii. 
p. 207. Moroni, Gaetano — Dizionario di erudizione ecclesiastica, vol. Ixxv. 
p. 125. Cerroti, Filippo — Le inondazioni di Roma. Firenze, 1871. Canevari, 
Raffaele — Tavola delle principali inondazioni del Tevere. Roma, 1875. 
Carcani, Michele — // Tevere e le sue inondazioni dalle origifii di Roma sino 
ai giorni nostri. Roma, 1875. Bettocchi, Alessandro — Monograjia delta 
cittd di Roma, 1881, vol. i. p. 243. Gomez, Ludovico — De prodigiosis Tiberis 
iniindationibus. Romae, 1531. 

The earliest project for restraining the Tiber from overflowing 
its banks dates, as far as we know, from the time of JuHus Caesar, 
who moved in the House a bill for the cutting of a new bed from 
the pons Molvius to the Transtevere, along the base of the Vatican 
hills.i The merit of having placed the unruly river under the 
management of a body of conservators, selected from the highest 
consular ranks, belongs to Augustus according to Suetonius (37), 
to Tiberius according to Tacitus {An?t., i. 76) and Dion Cassius 
(Ivii. 14, 8). 

Augustus gave the posts of chief conservators to C. Asinius Gallus 
and C. Marcius Censorinus in the year 7 B.C., when the bed of 
the river was cleared " ruderibus et aedificiorum prolapsionibus," 
deepened and widened, and its banks lined with terminal stones, 
marking the extent of public property which the conservators had 
rescued from private encroachment. Scores of these stones are 
still in existence. After the inundation of a.d. i 5, which had caused 
what Tacitus describes as "aedificiorum et hominum stragem," 
Tiberius referred the subject to Ateius Capito and L. Arruntius, 
the first of whom was a great authority on such matters. They 
suggested, and the Emperor sanctioned, the institution of a perma- 
nent committee of five senators, to be called curatores ripartwi. 
This institution lasted until the reign of Vespasian or Domitian, 
when we hear for the first time of one conservator only, a patri- 
cian, assisted by two adiutores of equestrian rank. In or about 
A.D. 10 1 the care of the sewers was added to that of the Tiber, 
and this important branch of the city administration received the 
title of statio alvei Tiberis et cloacarum. About 330 the chief 
conservator exchanged his classic title for that of consularis, and 
about 400 for that of comes. Archaeologists have been able to 

1 Cicero, ad Attic. , xxxiii. 3. Caesar's project was brought forward again in 
1879. See Zucchelii — Di una nuova inalveazione del Tevere. Roma, For- 
zani, 1879. 



draw an almost complete chronology of these officers from the 
terminal stones on which their names are engraved. 

Literature. — Corpus I riser., vol. i. p. i8o ; vol. vi, p. 266. Mommsen, 
i:\\&odiOX—Staatsrecht, \\^, p. 1047. Gatti, Giuseppe— ^a//. comm. arch., 
vol. XV., 1887, p. 306. Th^denat— Z)?V/'z<?««. antiq. grecqties et rom. deSaglio, 
vol. i. p. 1623. Cantarelli, Luigi — Bull. comm. arch., vol. xvii., 1889, p. 185 ; 
vol. xxii., 1894, pp. 39 and 354. Vaglieri, Dante — Bull. comm. arch., vol. 
xxii,, 1894, p. 254. 

Two means were adopted in Imperial times to free the city 
from floods — an embankment on either side, and the shortening 
of the bed between the city and the sea. 

First as to the embankment. We have seen how the Tiber is 
subject to differences of level, which reached to 12-86 metres in 
the flood of Clement VIII., increasing fourteen times the volume of 
its waters. To give such a capricious river a regular outlet, 
modern engineers have built a uniform bed of 100 metres in width, 
which has to serve both for droughts and floods. Their pre- 

Modern embankment 

FIG. 5. 

decessors, on the other hand, had adopted a triple section, the 
narrowest to serve in time of drought, the second in moderate, 
the third in extraordinary floods, as shown in the following 
diagram : — - 

Ancient embankment 

FIG. 6. 

The advantages of the old over the modern system are obvious. 
With the old the river was obliged to run in every season of the 
year within limits well defined, and proportioned to its volume, 



without raising sandbanks and depositing silt and mud. The 
moderate height of each of the three receding steps allowed the 
river to preserve its pleasing aspect, as is the case in many of the 
modern capitals of Europe ; while the huge walls between which 
we have imprisoned the stream have transformed it into a deep 
and unsightly channel, with nothing to relieve the monotony of its 

Side outlets to relieve the flood and shorten its course towards 
the sea were first cut open by Claudius. An inscription discovered 
at Porto in 1836 contains the expression: FOSSIS DVCTis vrbem 
INVNDATIONIS PERICVLO LIBERAVIT (see Corpus Btscr., vol. xiv. 
n. 85). Trajan changed the course of the channels. Another 
fragmentary inscription, now in the cloisters of S. Paul outside 
the walls, says of him : FOSSAM fecit gVA l^\^dationes Tiberis 
^?DSIDVE vrbem vexa?ites . . . arcerentur. This subject has been 
exhaustively treated by — 

Visconti, Pietro Ercole — Dissertazioni Accad. archeol., vol. viii. , 1838, 
p. 213. Canina, Luigi — Ibid., p. 259. Nibby, Antonio — Dintornl di Roma, 
vol. ii. p. 612. Reifferscheid — Bull, inst., 1863, p. 8. Texier, Charles— 
Rdvue gen. d' Architecture, vol. xv. p. 306, pis. 31, 32. Lanciani, Rodolfo — 
Ricerche sulla cittd di Porto, Ann. Inst., vol. xl. , 1868, p. 144. Corpus 
luscr. Lat., vol. xiv. p. 22, n. 88. 

The following cut represents the mouth of the navigable arm 
of the river at Fiumicino, which is the modern representative of 
the fossa Traiana : — 


The characteristics of the Tiber are, first, the supposed whole- 
some qualities of its water, the favourite beverage of Clement VII., 


Paul III., and Gregory XIII. This simply proves that the three 
pontiffs were proof against typhoid, as the river was then, as it 
has been up to 1890, the true Cloaca maxima of the city. The 
second is the abundance and regularity of its feeding springs, in 
consequence of which the river has never changed in volume and 
level within historical times. There is a tendency to believe that 
the Tiber was much lower in old times, because Pliny (xxxvi. 24, 2) 
speaks of Agrippa being rowed into the Cloaca maxima, the 
mouth of which it is now impossible to enter. Observations made 
in 1869 by padre Secchi at the Marble wharf (Marmorata), and 
by the engineers of the embankment, prove that since the fall of 
the Empire the bed of the river has hardly risen three feet. 
While this fact is absolutely certain, it gives rise to problems 
which are difficult to solve. 

In the spring of 1879 a Roman house was discovered on the 
right bank, in the gardens of La Farnesina, the paintings and 
stuccoed panels of which have become famous in the artistic world, 
and form the best ornament of the museo delle Terme. 

The pavements of this noble mansion were only 8 metres 
and 20 centimetres above the level of the sea, and about 3 
metres above that of the river. During the four months employed 
by us in removing the frescoes and the stucco panels, the Tiber 
entered the house Jive times. Taking ten times as a yearly 
average, the paintings and the stuccoes must have been washed 
by ordinary floods four thousand times, from the age of Augustus, 
to which the house belongs, to the fall of the Empire ; and yet 
frescoes and stuccoes were in perfect condition, and showed no 
sign of having been spoilt by water. I have not yet found a 
satisfactory solution of the problem ; because, even admitting the 
existence of an embankment between the house and the river, 
drains would always have provided a way for the flood. 

Literature. — Notizie degli Scavi , 1880, p. 127, pis. 4, 5. Monumenti inediti 
delV Instituto, Supplem. 1891. Helbig, Wolfgang — Collections of Antiquities 
in Rome, vol. ii. p. 220. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Pagan and Christian Rone, 
p. 263. 

The Tiber was celebrated for its fish. There is a work on this 
subject by Paolo Giovio, translated from Latin into Italian by 
Carlo Zangarolo. Macrobius, Pliny, and Juvenal praise above 
all the lupus, when caught " inter duos pontes " (in the waters of S. 
Bartolomeo's island), where he fed on the refuse of the Cloaca 
maxima. The lupus has been identified by some with the 


"spigola" or perca lebrax^ by others with the "laccia" or cliipea 
alosa, better known by the name of shad, the best Tiberine fish 
of the present day. There is a bas-reHef in the Capitol represent- 
ing a sturgeon 46 inches long, with the text of an edict of 1581 
providing that any sturgeon caught in Roman waters exceed- 
ing the statute size would be considered the property of the city 

VI. Bridges — 

Literature. — Piranesi, Gio. Battista — Opere, vol. iv., Pofiti antichi, etc. 
Piale, Stefano — Degli antichi ponti di Ro)na. Roma, 1832. Becker, Adolf — 
De muris, p. 78 ; and Topographic, p. 693. Mommsen, Theodor — Berichte 
der sdchs. Gesellschaft der IViss. , 1850, p. 320. Jordan, Heinrich — Die 
Briicken, in Topographie, vol. i. p. 393. Mayerhoefer — Die Briicken in alien 
Rom, 1883. Zippel — Die Briicken in alten Rom, in Jahrbuch fijr klass. Phil. 
1886, p. 81. Richter, Otto — Die Befestigung des Janiculum. Berlin, 1882. 

Pons SUBLICIUS, the oldest of Roman bridges. — Its antiquity 
is proved not so much by the tradition which attributes it 
to Ancus Marcius, as by the fact that no iron was used in 
its original construction, nor in subsequent repairs. Pliny 
i^H, TV., xxxvi. 15, 23), ignorant as he was of " Pre-history," gives 
a wrong explanation of the fact when he introduces the story of 
Horatius Codes, whose followers experienced so much difficulty 
in cutting it down in the face of the enemy. Such was not the 
case. Iron was proscribed from the structure for the same reason 
which prevented masons or stonecutters from using tools of that 
metal in repairing some of the oldest temples ; for instance, that of 
the Dea Dia (see Ancient Rome^ p. 41). At that time the Romans 
lived still "morally" in the age of Bronze, and felt a religious 
repulsion for the new metal. 

The bridge was carried away by a flood in 23 B.C., per- 
haps the same mentioned by Horace, Od.^ i. 2 ; and again in the 
time of Antoninus Pius. On either occasion it was restored 
according to the old rite.^ It seems almost certain that, if the 
frame and the roadway were of timber and planks {siibliciae\ the 
foundations in mid-stream must have been of solid masonry. ^ 
The piers were prominent enough above the water-mark to make 
the memory of the bridge last through the Middle Ages, when we 

^ See Dionysius, iii. 45; Pliny, xxxvi. 5, 23; Macrobius, i. 11; and 
Vita Antonin. , viii, 

2 Servius, Aen. viii. 646, says of Porsenna : cum per subliciutn pontem, 
hoc est ligtieum qui modo lapideus dicitur, transire conaretur ; but his words 
deserve little credit. (See Aethicus, Cosmogr., in Jordan's Topogr., \. 393, n. i.) 


hear very often of a " pons fractus iuxta Marmoratam." They were 
destroyed to the water's edge under Sixtus IV. "On July 23rd, 
1484," says the Diary of Infessura, "pope Sixtus sent into 
camp 400 large cannon-balls, made of travertine, from the 
remains of a bridge at La Marmorata, called ' il ponte di Orazio 
Codes.' '' The last traces were blown up in 1877 to clear the 
bed of the river. 

Literature. — Fea, Carlo, in Winckelmann's edit. Prato, 1832, vol. xi. 
pp. 379-400. Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. p. 199. 

Pons Fabricius (ponte Ouattro capi). — ■ The island of 
Aesculapius must have been joined to the left bank by a 

|H'?;. jj^ 






wooden bridge as early as 192 B.C. (see Livy, xxxv. 21, 5); 
another structure of the same kind is supposed to have joined the 
island with the Transtevere and the fortified summit of the Jani- 
culum. In the year 62 B.C. Lucius Fabricius, commissioner of 
roads, transformed the first into a solid stone bridge. The 
inscriptions which commemorate the event, engraved below the 
parapets on either side, are followed by a declaration signed by 
P. Lepidus and M. Lollius, consuls in 21 B.C., that the work had 
been duly and satisfactorily executed. From this declaration we 



learn one of the wise principles of the Roman administration— 
that the contractors and builders of bridges were held responsible 
for their solidity for forty years, so that they would regain posses- 
sion of the deposit which they made in advance only on the forty- 
first year after it had been made. Nothing speaks more highly 
in favour of the bridge than the fact that it is the only one which 
has survived intact the vicissitudes of 1957 years. It has two 
arches and a smaller one in the pier between them ; a fourth is 
concealed by the modern embankment on the left. 

The student must remember that the streets of ancient Rome 
were from 3 to 5 metres lower than the present ones, while 
the bridges have remained the same ; the inclines which gave 
access to them were, therefore, much longer and steeper than 
they are now, and offered space for several more openings or 
arches, which have since been buried by the accumulation of the 
soil. These steep inclines were called pedes pofifis, and cosciae in 
the Middle Ages. 

The pons Fabricius took the name of p, Judaeorum when the 
Jewish colony settled in the neighbouring quarter. It is now 
called dei Quattro capi, from the four-headed hennae which once 
supported the panels of the parapet. There are only two left in 
situ. The river, unfortunately, no longer flows under this most 
perfect of Roman bridges ; by a miscalculation in the plan of the 
new embankment the channel has been dried up, and the Ship of 
Aesculapius has stranded on a mudbank. 

Literature. — Canina, Luigi — Edijizii di Roma antica, vol. iv. tav. 242. 
Corpus Inscr. , vol. i. p. 174, n. 600 ; vol. vi. n. 1305. 

Pons Cestius, p. Gratianus, ponte di S. Bartolomeo, between 
the island and the Transtevere. — Its construction is attributed 
to Lucius Cestius, one of the six magistrates whom Caesar 
entrusted with the government of Rome on leaving for Spain 
in 46 B.C. It was rebuilt by L. Aurelius Avianius Symmachus, 
prefect of the city, in A.D. 365, and dedicated in the spring of 370 
to the Emperor Gratianus. (See Corpus Inscr. ^ vol. vi. p. 245, 
n. 1 1 75.) Its third restoration took place in the eleventh 
century in the time of Benedict VIII.; the inscription which 
commemorates it describes the bridge as FERE dirvtvm in those 
days. In 1849 the followers of Garibaldi threw one of the in- 
scriptions of Gratianus into the stream. The bridge was altered 
completely in 1886-89, so that of the three arches only the central 
one is ancient. In the course of the last works it was found 



that the blocks of travertine used by Symmachus in the restora- 
tions of 365-370 had been taken away from the theatre of Mar- 
cellus, mainly from the lower (Doric) arcades of the hemicycle. 
He had also made use of stones bearing historical inscriptions of 
the time of Trajan. 

The two bridges made an architectural and pictorial group 
with the Ship of Aesculapius.^ It is not known when and by 
whom the island was turned into this form. As far as we can 

judge from the fragment of the stern, represented in the cut above, 
the imitation must have been perfect in every detail. The ship, 
however, did not appear as if it was floating on the river, except 
in time of flood, because it rested on a platform 2 metres above 
low-water mark. It was entirely built of travertine, and measured 
280 metres between the perpendiculars, with a beam of 76 metres. 
An obelisk, pieces of which are now preserved in Naples, repre- 
sented the main-mast. 

1 Literature on the Island of Aesculapius. — Cod. Vat. , 3439, f. 42 ; Jordan, 
Forma Urbis, ix. 42; Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 9-12, 9824; Accad. Rotn. 
Arch. .• sessione 20 genn. 1881 ; Becker, Topogr., p. 651 ; Richter, Topogr., 
p. 158 ; Gamucci, Antich. di Roma, iv. p. 279 ; Nibby, Roma ant., ii. 291. 


A fanciful copy of this island exists in the villa d'Este at Tivoli 
as a part of the plan, or rather model in full relief, of the city 
of Rome which Pirro Ligorio added to the curiosities of that 
delightful place. A stream, derived from the Anio, represents the 
Tiber, on which the ship appears to be floating, with the obelisk in 
the place of the mast and the coat-of-arms of cardinal Ippolito 
instead of the emblems of the " merciful God." 

Literature. — Piranesi, Gio. Battista — Antichita di Roma, vol. iv. pis. 23, 
24. Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. p. 167. Bonato, P. — Annali 
Societa archit. italiani, vol. iv. , 1889, p. 139. Notizie degli Scavi, 1886, 
p. 159 ; 1889, p. 70. 

Pons Aemilius. — In the early days of Rome there was 
but one line of communication with the Janiculum and with 
the cities on the coast of Etruria : the road that passed over 
the Sublician bridge, crossed the plain of Transtevere by S. 
Cosimato, and ascended the Janiculum by the villa Spada. 
Livy (i. 33; V. 40) and Valerius Maximus (i. i, 10) describe 
it, on the occasion of the flight of the Vestals to Veii ; and 
Fabretti (de Aq., i. 18, p. 43) speaks of its rediscovery in the 
seventeenth century. He saw a long piece of the pavement 
between the bridge and S. Cosimato ; and where the pavement was 
missing, as between the villa Spada (de Nobili) and the church 
of S. Pietro Montorio, its course was marked by a line of tombs 
on either side. The ascent up the hill was exceedingly steep, and 
hardly fit for carriage traffic. Things, however, were improved in 
the sixth century of Rome, when a new bridge and a new and better 
road were built. M. Aemilius Lepidus and M. Fulvius Nobilior, 
censors in B.C. 181, founded the piers; the arches were added 
and the bridge finished thirty-eight years later. The new road, 
the Lungaretta of the present day, was then traced across the low 
swampy plain of Transtevere, partly on an embankment, partly 
on viaducts built of stone. One of these viaducts was discovered 
in 1889 near the piazza di S. Grisogono, and is described in the 
Bull. arch, cofn., 1889, p. 475, and 1890, pp. 6, 57. 

The pons Aemilius, owing to its slanting position across the 
river and to the side pressure of the floods against its piers, has 
been carried away at least four times : the first during or shortly 
before the reign of Probus (about A.D. 280) ; the second in 1230, 
when it was rebuilt by Gregory IX. ; the third on September 27th, 
1557 (rebuilt by Gregory XIII.); the fourth on December 24th, 
1598, after which it was never repaired. There is but one arch 


left now in mid-stream, the two on the right having- been destroyed 
in 1887. 

■ Literature. — Jordan, W€\x\x\c\\— -Topographic, i. p. 420. Lanciani, Pietro — 
Del ponte setiatorio. Roma, 1826. De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Le prime raccolte, 
etc., p. 57. Bonanni, Filippo — Numism. pofitif., vol. i. p. 323, n. 38, 39. 

Bridge of Agrippa. — ^A stone cippus, discovered in August 
1877 behind the church of S. Biagio della Pagnotta, near the 
strada GiuHa, has revealed the existence and the name of a bridge 
of which nobody had ever heard before, either from classic writers, 
or inscriptions, coins, or other such sources of information. 

The inscription reads as follows : "By order of Tiberius Claudius 




Line of neto embankment j 

Lino ^°'"'' °f /.'■•:■-, J 

.-.-,^ '^f ancifi 4 Platoriniisi ;/■■ ^ Garden of La Farnesina 


Line of new embankment 


Caesar, etc., we, Paullus Fabius Persicus, C. Eggius Marullus, C. 
Obellius Rufus, L. Sergius Paullus, L. Scribonius Libo, chief con- 
servators of the Tiber and its banks, have marked with cippi the 
limits of public property (on the left bank) from the Trigarium to 
the Bridge of Agrippa {ad pofitevi Agrippae):' 

The Trigarium was an open space, near the strada Giulia, for 
the breaking in and training of horses, for which purpose the 
ancients availed themselves of the triga, the untamed animal being 
harnessed between two trained ones. As regards the bridge of 
Agrippa, all our science is at a loss to explain the mystery. It 
seems impossible that there should have existed in Rome a large 
bridge, thrown across the Tiber by such a man as Agrippa, in the 
golden age of Augustus, and yet that not a trace should be left of 
it in situ or in written or engraved documents. Two solutions 


are more or less acceptable. The first is that the bridge now 
called ponte Sisto may have been originally the work of Agrippa. 
Its history is unknown. From the name of pons Aurelius or pons 
Antonini given to it in the third century, its construction has 
been attributed to Caracalla. Caracalla, however, may have been 
simply a restorer, as we know that Roman bridges used to change 
their names after every restoration. The second is that Agrippa's 
bridge was swept away by a flood soon after the accession of 
Claudius, and its remains carefully removed to restore free navi- 
gation up and down stream. The second surmise seems justified 
by the discovery made, loo metres above the ponte Sisto, of what 
appear to be the remains of sunken piers, as shown in Fig. lo. 

These remains are lying so low under the bottom of the river, 
they are so irregular in shape and in their respective distances 
(9-30 metres, 11-50 metres, 23-50 metres), their construction 
shows such a curious mixture of large stones and rubble-work, 
that I still hesitate to consider them to be the remains of Agrippa's 
mysterious bridge. 

Literature. — Borsari, Luigi — Notizie degli Scavi, 1887, p. 323 ; and Bull, 
arch, com., 1888, p. 92. Huelsen, Christian — Mittheilungen , vol. iv., 1889, 
p. 285. 

Pons Aelius (ponte S. Angelo). — A volume could be written 
on this most historical of Roman bridges ; but I confine myself to 
the mention of the latest discoveries made in connection with it. 

The pons Aelius was built in a.d. 136 by Hadrian, together 
with the mausoleum to which it gave access. The construction 
was recorded by two inscriptions {Corpus^ vol. vi. n. 973), copied 
by Giovanni Dondi dall' Orologio in the jubilee of 1375, which 
fell into the river in the catastrophe of 1450. There were six 
arches visible before the transformation of the bridge in 1892 ; 
two more have been discovered since in the long incline of the 
left bank, making a total of eight, of which three only served in the 
dry season. When the mausoleum was transformed into a fort 
or " tete de pont " in 403, the bridge was closed with two gates, 
one at each end. The gate facing the Campus Martius is called 
KvprfXia by Procopius ; ^ the other, facing the Vatican, was named 
porta S. Petri in Hadrianio, "Hadrianium" meaning the fort. 

The access to the bridge from the Campus Martius is repre- 
sented in the following remarkable photograph taken in July 
1892. The incline is 40 metres long, with a gradient of eleven 

^ Goth.'x. 19. See Becker, de Aluris, \-). 113. 



per cent. The roadway is paved in the ordinary Roman fashion, 
the side pavement being of slabs of travertine. The holes 

■he in'cline to the aelian bridge from the campus maktius 
(left bank). 

on the outer edge of the side-walks mark the line of the parapets, 
fragments of which have been found in situ. They were com- 
posed of pilasters and panels, very neatly carved. On December 


19th, 1450, while great crowds were returning from S. Peter's, 
where Nicholas V. had been showing the Sudarium, a mule 
belonging to cardinal Pietro Barbo became restive and caused 
a panic. The parapets gave way under the pressure, and 
one hundred and seventy-two pilgrims fell into the river. To 
prevent the recurrence of such calamities, Nicholas V. opened the 
modern piazza di Ponte (enlarged 1854) ; he also built two 
expiatory chapels at the entrance to the bridge from the 
designs of Bernardo Rossellino. During the siege of the castle 
of S. Angelo in 1527, Clement VII. and his garrison were much 
exposed to shots fired by outposts concealed in the chapels. After 
his liberation the pope caused them to be demolished, and raised 
in their place two statues, of S. Peter by Lorenzetto and of S. 
Paul by Paolo Romano. The other statues, representing angels 
with the symbols of the Passion, were added by Bernini in 1668. 
In the course of the works of 1892 it was ascertained that the 
foundations of the chapels of Nicholas V. had been built with 
pieces of statuary and architectural marbles (described by Visconti 
in Bull. arch, com.^ 1892, p. 263), 

Literature. — Piranesi, Gio. Battista — Aniichitd, vol. iv. Nibby, Antonio — 
Roma antica, vol. i. p. 159. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Itiner. di Einsiedlen, p. 15 ; 
and Bull, com., 1893, p. 14. Borsari, Luigi — Notizie degli Scavi, 1892, p. 411. 
Huelsen, Christian — Mittheilungen, 1894, p. 321. 

A hundred metres below the ponte S. Angelo the remains of 
another bridge appear at low water. It is probably the work of 
Nero, who did so much to beautify and enlarge the gardens in the 
district of the Vatican, which he had inherited from Agrippina the 
elder. The classic name of the bridge is not known, although 
many have been suggested (Neronianus, Vaticanus, Triumphalis). 
In the Middle Ages it was called Pons ruptus ad S, Spiritum in 
Saxia. See — 

Piranesi, Gio. Battista — Aniichitd, vol. iv. pi. 13 ; vol. i. p. 13, n. 91 ; and 
Camp. Mart., pi. 45. Piale, Stefano — \\\\^x\m\Xs Roma atitica, vol. ii. p. 190. 
Nibby, Antonio — Ro7na a?itica, vol. i. p. 205. 

Pons Valentinianus (ponte Sisto). — The bridge of Valen- 
tinian I., represented by the modern ponte Sisto, was one of 
the noblest structures spanning the river. It was rebuilt between 
366. and 367 by the same Symmachus whom I have mentioned 
in connection with the pons Gratianus, with the spoils and 
on the site of an older one (of Agrippa ? or Caracalla ?), 
and dedicated to Valentinian and Valens. Overthrown by the 
inundation of 797 (?), it was repaired by Sixtus IV. in 1475 from 



the designs of Baccio Pontelli, In 1878, the branch of the river 
which flows under the first arch on the left having been diverted, the 
corresponding arch of Valentinian's bridge was found lying bodily 
on the bottom of the stream in such good order that the pieces of 
an inscription, which ran from one end to the other of the south 


parapet, were discovered in their proper succession. A triumphal 
arch which decorated the approach from the Campus Martins ^ 

^ As in classic times triumphal arches were raised on the Sacra via leading 
to the Capitolium, so in the Christian era they were raised on the roads con- 
verging towards S. Peter's ; and especially ad pedes pontimn, at the foot of the 
l)ridges which the pilgrims crossed on their way to the Apostle's tomb. That 
of Gratianus, Valentinianus, and Theodosius stood in the piazza di ponte S. 
Angelo ; that of Arcadius, Honorius, and Theodosius at the approach to the 
pons Vaticanus ; that of Valentinianus and Valens by the ponte Sisto. 


had fallen also into the river, with the bronze statues and 
groups by which it was crowned. The pieces, recovered in 
1878, are now exhibited in the museo delle Terme, except a head 
which found its way into the antiquarian market and was bought, 
many years later, by Alessandro Castellani. This remarkable head 
is of the highest importance in regard to the controversy whether 
the bronze statues placed on this and other monuments of the end 
of the fourth century were contemporary works, or simply spoils 
from earlier edifices which were considered to answer the new 
purpose more or less satisfactorily ; and also whether the head 
was changed or not into a new likeness. Experts consider this 
head to be of better style than that prevalent in the second half of 
the fourth century. 

The parapets were divided into panels by projecting pilasters. 
Each panel contains six or eight letters of an inscription which 
ran the whole length on either side, and each pilaster an in- 
scription of its own regarding the statue placed upon it. One of 
the pedestals found in 1892 is dedicated "to the august Victory, 
faithful companion of our lords and masters, the S.P.Q.R., under 
\\\i care of Avianius Symmachus, ex-prefect of the city." Near it 
was lying the right wing of the statue of Victory. It is evident, 
therefore, that if a proper search were made in the bed of the river 
nearly all the bronzes of the bridge could be recovered. 

The fragments of the pons Valentinianus are dispersed in 
various corners of the museo delle Terme. The inscriptions of 
Sixtus IV. are in the museo Municipale al CeHo (Orto botanico). 

Literature. — Bull. arch, com., 1878, p. 241. Ancient Rome, p. 257. 
Monimsen, Theodor, in Ephem. epigr., vol. iv. p. 279. Huelsen, Christian 
— Mittheihingen, 1892, p. 329. 

VII. Traiectus (ferries). — The traffic between the two banks 
of the Tiber was carried on also by means of ferries, known by 
the name of traiectus., the traghetti of the present day. Each 
had a name of its own : like the traiectus Luculli, Marmorariorum, 
Togatensium at Ostia {Corpus Inscr.., xiv. 254, 403, 425). The 
sites of the ferries at Rome are marked by corresponding posterns 
in the walls of Aurelian, along the banks of the Campus Martins : 
there was one at the porto di Ripetta, others at the porto 
della Tinta, at the posterula Domitia, at the porto dell' Armata, 
etc. The ferries of the Armata and Ripetta lasted till 1887. 

Literature. — Bull. arch, com., 1889, p. 175; and Nolli's Pianta di Roma, 


VIII. Objects of value in the bed of the River. — 
The belief in their existence dates from the Middle Ages. Leaving 
aside the old stories of the seven-branched candlestick and of 
the gold-plate of Agostino Chigi, which rest on no foundation of 
truth, the dredging works carried out since 1877 prove that the 
bed of the Tiber contains a marvellous quantity of objects of 
value, from bronze statues, masterpieces of Greco-Roman art, down 
to the smallest articles of personal wear, from flint arrow-heads of 
prehistoric times to the weapons used in fighting the French in 
1849. The dredging, unfortunately, has been only superficial, its 
purpose being to give the stream a uniform depth of 9 feet ; 
while the objects of value have been absorbed to depths which 
vary from 3 to 35 feet below the bottom of the river. Twice 
only the maximum depth has been reached (ponte Garibaldi, 
ponte Sisto), and on either occasion a great mass of works of 
art or antiquity has been gathered. 1 By comparing these 
discoveries with those made in the foundation of the embankment 
walls, we have satisfied ourselves on several points : — 

1 . That, however great the absorbing power of mud- and sand- 
banks is, the objects are not so deeply hidden as to be beyond 
the reach of man. 

2. That the power of the current to wash heavy objects down 
stream, even in time of flood, is moderate. A fragment of the 
annals of the Salii palatini^ which fell or was thrown into the 
river at the Sponda della Regola towards the end of the fifth 
century, was recovered in 1881 550 metres below that point. 
The fragment had travelled, therefore, at the slow rate of 39 
metres per century. 

3. That there is a certain chronological regularity in the 
strata of sunken objects, each stratum corresponding to one of 
the revolutions, sieges, and political disturbances so frequent 
in the history of Rome. The higher strata are contemporary with 
the siege and capture of the city by General Oudinot, when 
thousands of " improvised " war weapons were thrown into the 
river to avoid detection. There are traces of the disturbances of 
1 83 1, of the French Revolution, and of the Napoleonic wars. 
These objects are more curious than valuable. The real wealth 
begins with the layer corresponding to the Sacco di Roma of 1527, 
not to speak of mediaeval or barbaric invasions. For two or three 
years the average of coins dredged up amounted to twelve hun- 
dred per month, mostly coppers of the last two centuries, even 

^ See Ancient Rome, p. 257. 




of popes whose reigns were peaceful and undisturbed. How 
did they happen to be there ? The solution of the mystery lies, 

perhaps, in the fact that the 
dirt collected from the streets 
or from private houses was 
thrown daily into the river at 
two points, " la Penna " above 
Ripetta, and S. Giovanni dei 
Fiorentini. To lose money 
in the streets is a rare occur- 
rence, but at home it happens 
very easily : coppers may drop 
on the carpets, roll under 
pieces of furniture, and when 
servants sweep the rooms the 
coins may get mixed up with 
the dust. Such refuse has 
been thiown into the river for 
many centuries. 

4. That the objects sunk 
in the river are recovered in 
good condition, whether of 
terra-cotta, or marble, or metal, 
iron excluded. Iron not only 
gets rusty and almost dis- 
solved in water, but imparts 
to marble — if in contact with 
it — a deep reddish hue, which 
is quite characteristic of the 
Tiberine sculpture. Brass Im- 
perial and Republican coins 
are splendidly preserved, but 
without " patina," which 
makes them less valuable in 
the market. 

I can give no better evi- 
dence of the care which Old 
Father Tiber has taken of the 
works of art entrusted to him than by reproducing here one of 
the marble statues found in his bed not long ago. This archaic 
Apollo, a copy of a bronze original, is now exhibited in a cabinet 
of the museo delle Terme on the south side of the quadrangle. 




A short notice of the find is given in the Mittheilunge?t of 1891, 
p. 302. Compare Not. Scavi, 1891, pp. 287 and 337. Helbig's 
Gidde^ vol. ii. p. 214, n. 1028. 

IX. Cloacae (drains). — The hills of the left bank, from the 
Pincian to the Caelian, follow each other so as to make three valleys, 
each having its own outlet for spring, rain, and waste waters. The 
northern basin, between the Pincian and the Quirinal, was drained 
by the river Petronia, which collected the Sallustian springs, and 
fell into the Tiber a little above our ponte Garibaldi ; the middle 
basin, between the Quirinal and the Esquiline, by a river probably 
called Spinon, which collected the waters of the vicus Longus, v. 
Patricius, and the Subura, crossed the Argiletum, the Forum, 
and the Velabrum, and joined the Tiber at the present mouth of 

// 'alker CrBoiiiatlsc. 


the Cloaca maxima ; the southern basin, between the Esquiline, the 
Caelian, and the Aventine, by a third river (Nodinus), 3600 
metres long. After receiving eight tributaries from the springs of 
Apollo, of the Camoenae, of Mercury, of the Piscina publica, etc., 
it emptied itself into the Tiber a little below the mouth of the 
Cloaca maxima. (See map. Fig. i.) 

The first step towards the regulation of these three rivers was 
taken even before the advent of the Tarquins. Their banks were 
then lined with great square blocks of stone, leaving a channel 
about 5 feet wide, so as to prevent the spreading and the 
wandering of flood-water, and provide the swampy valleys with a 
permanent drainage ; but, strange to say, the course of the streams 
was not straightened nor shortened. If the reader looks at the 
map above (Fig. 14), representing the course of the Cloaca maxima 
through the Argiletum and the Velabrum, he will find it so 
twisted and irregular as to resemble an Alpine torrent more than 


a drain built by skilful Etruscan engineers. The same thing may 
be repeated for the other main lines of drainage in the valleys 
Sallustiana, Murcia, etc. When the increase of the population 
and the extension of the city beyond the boundaries of the 
Palatine made it necessary to cover those channels and make 
them run underground, it was too late to think of straightening 
their course, because their banks were already fixed and built over. 

The Roman cloacae have been overpraised. It is certainly a 
marvellous fact that some of them were still in use a few years 
ago, after a lapse of twenty-six centuries ; but they bid defiance 
to modern sanitary principles. First of all, they served to carry 
off the sewage and the rain - water together. This double 
employment made it necessary to have large openings along the 
street, which exposed the population to the effluvia of the sewers. 
In the third place, the sewers emptied themselves directly into the 
Tiber, thus polluting its waters, which were used not only for 
bathing but also for drinking purposes. Only six years ago did 
the Tiber cease to be the cesspool of Rome. It must also be 
borne in mind that the " latrina " of Roman houses was incon- 
veniently placed next the kitchen, and the same cloaca was used 
for the sinks. Against such great dangers to public and private 
health the Romans had but two protections : the masses of water 
by which the drains were constantly flushed, and the hilly nature 
of the city ground, which allowed them to give the drains a steep 

Drains dating from the time of the Kings or of the Republic 
are built of blocks of peperino and lapis Gabinus (sperone), those 
of the Imperial period with bricks. Two tiles, placed against 
each other in a slanting position, form their roof; the floor is 
made of a large tile slightly convex. There are no sluices or 

The Cloaca maxima and that of the vallis Murcia (described 
m A?icient Roine^ P- 54 ; a^^d Bull. arch, coin.., 1892, p. 279) are by 
no means alone in respect of their size, length, and magnificence 
of construction. There is a third, discovered by ^Enrico Narducci 
in the plain of the Circus Flaminius, equal, if not superior, to 
them. The section which Narducci explored in 1880 begins at 
the corner of via Paganica with the piazza Mattel, and runs in a 
straight Hne to the Tiber, by the ponte Garibaldi. Its side walls 
are built of blocks of lapis Gabinus, some of which measure 45 
cubic feet ; the arched roof is made of five blocks only, wedged 
together ; the floor is paved like that of a Roman road. It runs 


at the considerable depth of 9-53 metres under the modern city. 
(See Bull. Inst., 1881, p. 209.) 

We must remember that these great sewers were built through 
marshes and ponds, and generally through a soil soaked with 
spring water. Rome may be said to be floating over this 
subterranean alluvium even now. In the sixty days required to 
build the sewer of the via del Babuino in 1875, 650,000 cubic 
metres of water were absorbed by seven steam pumps. The 
inundation of the Coliseum in 1878 could not possibly be got 
under control : powerful engines only lowered it by a few inches, 
and it cost the city nearly one milHon lire to provide the Coliseum 
with a regular outlet. 

The level of the subterranean flood has risen since Roman 
times. In the foundations of the " Banca di Roma" and of the 
palazzo Canale, on either side of the via Poli, the pavement of a 
street was found under 2 feet of water. The cellars of the wine 
docks, discovered in 1877 in the gardens of La Farnesina {cellae 
vinariae Nova et Arriintiami)., w ere flooded up to the key of their 
vaulted roofs. The "chefs-d'oeuvre" of Saitic art, discovered by 
Tranquilli in 1858 in the sacred area of the Iseum, near the apse 
of La Minerva, were lying on the floor of the peristyle 3 feet 
under water. An excavation made by Parker in 1869 in Cara- 
calla's baths, by SS. Nereo and Achilleo, in the via di porta 
S. Sebastiano, had to be given up, although successful, in con- 
sequence of the invasion of spring water. 

In the many hundred antique drains discovered in my time, 
I have never seen a sign of communication with the houses lining 
the streets through which the drains passed. All the side channels 
which empty into the Cloaca maxima, from the forum Augustum 
to the Tiber, belong to streets or public buildings — none to private 
dwellings. The same observation has been made with regard to 
the sewers of the Esquiline, Viminal, etc. This fact would lead 
us to believe that cesspools, or " pozzi neri," were more popular 
in Rome than the latrina, communicating directly with the public 
sewer. Yet only one " pozzo nero " has been found in our excava- 
tions. It is described in the Bull. arch, coin., 1892, p. 285. In 
the same periodical, 1873, P- 243, pi. ii., 3, there is a description 
and the design of a latrina discovered in the drilling grounds of 
the Praetorians, via Magenta, No. 2. Fig. i 5 (next page) represents 
the latrina annexed to the guest-rooms of the villa Adriana. 

Literature. — Antike Denkmdler oi \\\& German Arch. Inst., vol. i. , 1889, taf. 
xxxvii, Bttll. arch, coin., 1872, p. 279; 1890, p. 95, pis. 7, 8. Narducci, Pietro 



— Fognatura della citta di Roma sulla sifiisira del Tevere, Roma, 1884 ; and 
Roma sotterranea, illustraz. della cloaca massima, 1885. Codex Ixxv. 68, in 
the King's Library, B.M., p. 15. Schreiber, Theodor — Berichte der sacks. 
Gesellschaft der Wiss., 1885, p. 78. Avcient Rome, p. 54. 


X. The Quarries from which Rome was built. — The 
materials used in Roman constructions are the lapis ruber (tufa) ; 
the lapis Albamts (peperino) ; the lapis Gabimis (sperone) ; 
the lapis Tiburtiiiiis (travertino) ; the silex (selce) ; and bricks 
and tiles of various kinds. The cement was composed of 
pozzolana (0*67) and lime (0-33). Imported marbles came into 
fashion towards the end of the Republic, and became soon after 
the pride and glory of Rome. 

A. Tufa (lapis ruber). — ^The only material which the first 
builders of Rome found at hand was the volcanic conglomerate 
called tufa. The quality of the stone used in those early days 
was far from perfect. The walls of the Palatine hill and of the 
Capitoline citadel were built of material quarried on the spot — a 
mixture of charred pumice-stones and reddish volcanic sand. 
The quarries of the Palatine will be described in the proper 


place. Those used for the fortifications of the Capitol were 
located at the foot of the hill towards the Argiletum, and were so 
important as to give their name, Lautumiae, to the neighbouring 
district. It is probable that the prison called Tullianum, from a 
jet of water, ttillus, which sprang from the rock, was originally a 
portion of this quarry. The tufa blocks employed by Servius 
Tullius for the building of the city walls and of the agger appear 
to be of three qualities — yellowish, reddish, and grey ; the first, 
soft and easily broken up, seems to have been quarried from the 
Little Aventine near the church of S. Saba. The galleries of 
this quarry, much disfigured by mediaeval and modern use, can 
be followed to a considerable distance, although the collapsing of 
the vaults makes it dangerous to visit them. I have entered these 
recesses only twice with the late Mr. J. H. Parker, while trying to 
rediscover the channel of the aqua Appia, first seen and described 
by Raffaello Fabretti about 1675, I ^'^ J^ot able to say where 
Servius found the reddish tufa (Cervara ?). The quarries of the 
third quality were, or rather one of them was, discovered on 
February 7th, 1872, in the vigna Querini, outside the porta S. 
Lorenzo, near the first milestone of the vicolo di Valle Cupa. It 
was a surface quarry, comprising five trenches 1 6 feet wide, 9 feet 
deep. Some of the blocks, already squared, were lying on the floor 
of the trenches, others were detached on two or three sides only, 
the size of others was simply traced on the rock by vertical or 
horizontal lines. (See illustration in BtilL arch, com., 1888, pis. 
i., ii., figs. 3-6.) This tufa, better known by the name of " cappel- 
laccio," is very bad. The only buildings in which it was used, 
besides the inner wall of the Servian agger, are the platform of 
the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in the gardens of the German 
Embassy, and the " puticuli " in the burial-grounds of the Esquiline. 
Its use must have been given up before the end of the Kingly 
period, in consequence of the discovery of better quarries on the 
right bank of the Tiber, at the foot of the hills now called Monte 
Verde. A description of these last, still in use, can be found 
in the — 

Notizie degli Scavi, 1886, p. 454 ; 1888, p. 136 ; 1889, pp. 71 and 243. 
Bull. arch, com., 1892, p. 288. Mittheilu7igen, 1891, p. 149. 

They cover a space about one mile in length and a quarter of 
a inile wide on each side of the valley of Pozzo Pantaleo. In fact, 
this valley, which runs from the via Portuensis towards the lake 
of the villa Pamphily, seems to be artificial — I mean, produced by 



the extraction of the rock by milHons of cubic metres in the course 
of twenty-four centuries. If the work of the ancient quarrymen 
could be freed from the loose material which conceals it from 
view, we would possess within a few minutes' drive from the porta 
Portese a reproduction of the famous mines of El Masarah, with 
beds of rock cut into steps and terraces, with roads and lanes, 
shafts, inclines, underground passages, and outlets for the dis- 
charge of rain-water. The cuttings on either side show two strata 
of tufa : the upper, 8 metres thick, is a very hard ash-coloured rock 
resembling in texture the pudding-stone ; the lower, of a light red 
colour and less compact, is fractured by seams and veins, so that 
it cannot be obtained in large blocks ; and as the purpose of the 
Romans was to obtain cubes from 3 to 5 feet long, as shown by 
a few left on the spot, they used the lower or reddish stone 
only to make prisms for reticulated masonry. The galleries 
of the quarry vary in size from 10 to 20 feet, and their floor is 
levelled so as to conduct the rain-water to one central outlet, 
running towards the brook of Pozzo Pantaleo. When a quarry had 
given out, its galleries were filled up with the refuse of the neigh- 
bouring ones — chips left over after the squaring of the blocks ; so 
that, in many cases, the colour and texture of the chips do not 
correspond with those of the quarry in which they are found. This 
layer of refuse, transformed by time into humus, and worked upon 
by human and atmospheric forces, has given the valley a different 
aspect, so that it looks as if it were the work not of quarrymen 
but of nature. Some of the abandoned galleries were transformed 
into tombs and columbaria. One raised by Aurelius Niketa to 
his daughter Aelianetis contains the following inscription : Fossor, 
vide ne fodias I Dens magnus oculos habet. Vide^ et tu Jilios 
/tabes. Which means, " Quarryman, do not approach this tomb : 
the great God watches thee ; remember that thou also hast 
children." These words prove that tombs and quarries were 
contemporary and not very far apart. 

Tufa may be found used in many existing monuments of 
ancient Rome, such as the drains of the middle and southern 
basin of the left bank, the channels and arches of the Marcia 
and Anio vetus, the Servian walls, the temples of Fortuna 
Virilis, of Hercules Magnus Gustos, the Rostra, the embankment 
of the Tiber, etc. The largest and most magnificent quarries in 
the suburban district are the so-called Grotte della Cervara. No 
words can convey an idea of their size and of the regularity of 
their plan. They seem to be the work of a fanciful architect who 


has hewn out of the rock halls and galleries, courts and vestibules, 
and imitated the forms of an Assyrian palace. The quarries of 
La Cervara, at the fifth milestone of the via Collatina, are 
described by Strabo (lib. v.) 

B. Peperino (lapis Albanus). — For the study of the peperino 
mines, which contain a stone special to the Alban district, formed 
by the action of hot water on grey volcanic cinders, the reader 
should follow on foot the line of the new Albano railway, from the 
place called II Sassone to the town of Marino. Many of the 
valleys in this district, now made beautiful by vineyards and 
oliveyards, owe their existence to the pickaxe of the Roman 
stonecutter, hke that of Pozzo Pantaleo. The most curious 
sight is a dolmen or isolated rock 10 metres high, left in the 
centre of one of the quarries to certify the thickness of the bed of 
rock excavated. In fact, the whole district is very interesting 
both to the archaeologist and the paysagiste. The mines of 
Marino, still worked in the neighbourhood of the railway station, 
would count, like the Grotte della Cervara, among the wonders 
of the Campagna, were they known to the student as they deserve 
to be. 

If the discovery of a piece of " aes grave signatum " in a 
seam of peperino near the ponte di S. Gennaro, between Civita 
Lavinia and Velletri, could be proved true (by the exhibition not 
of the piece alone, but of its mould on the rock itself, which 
has not been done yet), the stone would appear to be of modern 

The principal Roman buildings in which the lapis Albanus 
has been used are : the Claudian aqueduct, the Cloaca maxima, 
the temples of Antoninus and Faustina, of Cybele, of the Eventus 
Bonus, of Neptune, the enclosure wall of the forum Augustum, 
f Transitorium, and f Pacis, the porticus Argonautarum, p. 
Pompeii, the Ustrinum of the Appian way, etc. The sarcophagus 
of Cornelius Scipio Barbatus in the Vatican museum and the 
tomb of the Tibicines in the museo Municipale al Celio are also 
of this stone. 

C. Travertino (lapis Tiburtinus), quarried in the plains of 
Tivoli at places now called Le Caprine, Casal Bernini, and II Barco. 
This last was reopened after an interval of many centuries by 
count G. Brazza, brother of the African explorer. Lost in the 
wilderness and overgrown with shrubs, it had not been examined, 
I beheve, since the visit of Brocchi. It can be reached by 
stopping at the station of the Aquae Albulae, on the Tivoli line, 


and following the ancient road which led to the works. This 
road, twice as wide as the Appian way, is flanked by sub- 
structures, and is not paved but macadamised. Parallel with 
it runs an aqueduct which supplied the works with motive power, 
derived probably from the sulphur springs. There are also 
remains of tombs, one of which, octagonal in shape, serves as a 
foundation to the farmhouse del Barco. 

The most remarkable monument of the whole group is the 
Roman quarry from which five and a half million cubic metres of 
travertine have been extracted, as proved from the measurement 
of the hollow space between the two opposite vertical sides. That 
this is the most important ancient quarry of travertine, and the 
largest one used by the Romans, is proved, in the first place, by 
its immense size. The sides show a frontage of more than two 
and a half kilometres ; the surface amounts to 500,000 square 
metres. The sides are quite perpendicular, and have the peculiarity 
of projecting buttresses, at an angle of 90°. Some of these 
buttresses are isolated on three sides, and still preserve the 
grooves, more or less deep, by means of which they could be 
separated from the solid mass ; these grooves vary in depth from 
50 centimetres to 2 metres, and look fresh and sharp, as if 
the quarry had been abandoned only a short time ago. The 
second argument is furnished by the indirect traces of the work 
of man, which show that the excavation must at least be many 
centuries old. In order to keep the bottom of the works clean 
and free for the movement of the carts, for the action of the 
cranes, and for the manoeuvres of the workmen, the chips, or 
useless product of the squaring of the blocks, were transported to a 
great distance, as far as the banks of the Anio, and there piled 
up to a great height. This is the origin of that chain of hills 
which runs parallel to the river, and of whose artificial formation 
no one, as far as I know, had the least suspicion. One of these 
hills, visible from every point of the neighbouring district, from 
Hadrian's villa as well as from the Sulphur Baths, is elliptical in 
shape, 22 metres high, 90 metres long, and 65 metres wide. It 
can with reason be compared with our Testaccio. It is easy to 
imagine how immense must have been the number of blocks cut 
from the Cava del Barco during the period of the formation of 
this hill alone. Another proof of the antiquity of the quarry, and of 
its abandonment from Imperial times down to our own day, is given 
by this fact. The Aquae Albulae, the most copious sulphur spring 
of Central Italy, collected into canals by the Romans and subjected 


to a scientific hydraulic regime, were allowed free play from the 
first barbaric invasion up to the sixteenth century, when cardinal 
Ippolito d'Este gathered them again into the channel which takes its 
name from him, and which is in use at the present day. In this 
long period of abandonment it seems that the principal branch of 
the wandering waters directed its course towards the Cava del 
Barco, leaping from the rim of the north vertical side into the 
chasm below. This fall of water, saturated with carbonate and 
sulphate of lime, and lasting for many centuries, produced the 
following effect. The north wall was concealed under hard chalky 
incrustation, and transformed into a slope with an inclination of 
45° or 50°. This stratum of recent formation is, on an average, 
8 metres wide at the base and only a few centimetres at the top. 
Stonecutters in the quarry are now obliged to remove this crust 
before reaching the ancient walls of travertine, which still preserve 
the traces of the blows of the Roman pickaxe. At the bottom of 
the quarry we meet with another phenomenon. The stratum of 
chips which covers it has been cemented and pasted over by 
chalky sediments, forming beds and layers of a hard breccia 
resembling the pudding-stone. The southern walls of the quarry, 
on the contrary, are free from incrustations, as they have never 
been in contact with the sulphur water. 

The system now followed in quarrying the blocks is the 
same as that which prevailed in old times. The foreman 
ascertains the weak point of the rocky mass and the vertical or 
horizontal line of the seams, and directs his men to place steel 
wedges along the weak line and hammer them simultaneously, the 
movement being timed to the rhythm of a song. This photograph 
(Fig. 16), which I took in December 1893, explains the process 
better than any description could do. The large block in the 
foreground has already been detached on four sides, and the men 
are busy placing the steel wedges on the weak seam at the bottom. 
I need not say that as many men are required to hammer as 
there are wedges. Sometimes the task is accomplished at the 
first stroke, sometimes it requires half an hour's work. 

D. Si LEX (selce), used for rubble -work in small fragments, 
and for the paving of streets and roads in larger pieces of 
pentagonal shape. The stone was quarried from four lava streams 
which had flowed from the Alban volcanoes in the direction of 
Rome (Capo di Bove, acqua Acetosa, Borghetto, and monte 
Falcone), and from one stream of the Sabatine range (S. Maria 
di Galera). The working of the quarries, the cutting and shaping 




of the paving-stones, the laying-in and repairing of pavements, were 
entrusted to a large body of trained men, organised in companies 
and directed by Government officials, i The material was kept 
in store in a great State building named Castra Silicariorum, 
which may have served also as barracks for the Silicarii. The 
institution is still flourishing under the name of " Magazzino dei 
Selci." The present works occupy a large tract of land north 
of the Protestant cemetery in the plains of Testaccio. 


Pumice-Stone was used occasionally by Roman masons to 
diminish the weight and lateral pressure of great vaulted ceilings, 
as in the baths of Caracalla. 

Literature. — The introductory chapters of Middleton's Reinains of Ancient 
Rome (2nd ed. 1892), dealing with the site and general features of the city, 
with the materials of which it is built, with the methods of construction, are 
the best ever written on the subject. The author shows himself a specialist of 
unrivalled knowledge. So thoroughly has he mastered the technicalities of 
ancient masonry and stonework that he makes clear and almost agreeable a 

^ The procurator ad silices, or p7'oc. siliciim viariim sacrae iirbis, subject 
to the authority of the Minister of Public Works. (See Corpus I user. , vol. vi. 
n. 1598; and Orelli-Henzen, n. 6519.) 


subject which students have usually avoided as dry and difficult to understand. 
An abridged memoir on the same subject, issued by the same author, is to be 
found in vol, xli. of the Archaeologia, 1888 : On the Chief Methods of Con- 
struction used in Ancient Rojne. 

Compare also : — Brocchi, Giovanni — Dello state fisico del siiolo di Roma, 
1820, p. 109. Nibby, Antonio — Dei materiali impregati nelle fabbriche di 
Roma, delle costruzioni, e dello stile, in Roma antica, vol. i. p. 234. Corsi, 
Faustino — Delle pietre antiche, Rome, 1845, PP- 11-76. 

XI. Bricks.— There are three collections of brick-stamps in 
Rome : one, of little value, in the Kircherian museum ; the second 
m the last room of the Vatican Library, past the " Nozze aldobran- 
dine " ; the third and best in the museo Municipale al Celio. 
This last contains over a thousand specimens, and a unique set 
of the products of Roman kilns. In fact, the first hall of the 
Museo is set apart exclusively for the study of ancient building and 
decorative materials. 

Roman bricks were square, oblong, triangular, or round, the 
latter being used only to build columns in the Poinpeian style. 
The square species comprises the tegidae bipedales^ of 0-59 metre 
X 0-59 ; the tegulae sesqtiipedales, of 0-45 metre x 0-45 ; and the 
laterciili bessales^ used in hypocausts, of 0-22 metre x 0*22. Arches 
were built of a variety of the bipedales^ of the same length, but only 
0-2 2 in width, and slightly wedged. The triangular bricks were 
obtained by cutting diagonally a tegiila bessalis with a wooden rule 
or a string, before it was put into the kiln. The largest bricks dis- 
covered in my time measure 1-05 metre in length. They were set 
into an arch of one of the great stairs leading to the avenue or 
boulevard established in Imperial times on the top of the agger of 
Servius (railway station). 

Roman bricks are very often stamped with a seal, the legend 
of which contains the names of the owner and manager of the kilns, 
of the maker of the tile, of the merchant entrusted with the sale of 
the products, and of the consuls under whose term of office the 
bricks were made. These indications are not necessarily found 
all in one seal. 

The most important of them is the consular date, because it 
helps the student to determine, within certain limits, the date of the 
building itself. The rule, however, is far from being absolute, and 
before fixing the date of a Roman structure from that of its brick- 
stamps one must take into consideration many other points of 
circumstantial evidence. 

When we examine, for instance, the grain warehouses at Ostia, 
or Hadrian's villa at Tivoli, and find that their walls have never 


undergone repairs, that their masonry is characteristic of the first 
quarter of the second century, that their bricks bear the dates of 
Hadrian's age and no others, we may rest assured that the stamps 
speak the truth. Their evidence is in such a case conclusive. 
But if the bricks are variously dated, or bear the names of various 
kilns, and not of one or two only, then their value as evidence of 
the date of a building is diminished, if not lost altogether. 

The following case, derived from personal experience, will explain 
the point. Professor Jordan, in a remarkable speech delivered on 
April 25th, 1884, at the German Institute, attributed the house of 
the Vestals to the age of Hadrian, because he had found a stamp 
of Domitius Tullus (a.d. 59-95) on the south wing of the atrium ; 
three of Cn. Domitius Clemens (111-123) in the stairs leading 
to the first floor ; two of Rutilius Lupus (i 10-122) in one of the cells 
of the first floor ; and so on.i Yet there was no doubt in my mind 
that the building was renewed from the foundation, and on a 
different plan, by Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, and 
that Hadrian had nothing to do with it. I was able to prove 
the case so clearly 2 that Jordan's theory was abandoned, and 
my contention as to the date adopted. The presence of bricks 
of Hadrian's time can be easily explained. When Severus under- 
took the reconstruction of the house of the Vestals and of the 
whole adjoining quarter, which had been devastated by the fire of 
Commodus, he began by levelling to the ground the remains of 
the buildings which had partly withstood the violence of the flames. 
The materials so saved were put aside and used in the recon- 
struction of the Atrium Vestae. 

The circular seals have often a symbol in the centre — a figure 
of a god or a goddess, a leaf, a fruit, etc. Sometimes the symbol 
has a phonetic value. Thus we find the image of the wolf impressed 
on the tiles of M. Rutilius Lupus j of the wild-boar on those of 
Flavius Aperj of the eagle on those of Aquilia Sozomena ; of the 
wreath ((TT€(f)dvr]) on those of C. Julius Stefihaniis^ etc. 

The name of the building for which the bricks were destined 
appears only in three seals : castns Praetoris^ " for the praetorian 
camp"; /<?r/z/i- Augusti\ " for the Claudian harbour at Ostia"; 
and pcrtus Traiani, " for the harbour of Civitavecchia." 

Brick-kilns were called Jiglinae, their sections or workshops 
officinae. The kilns were named either after their owner, Acilianae, 
FulviaJiae, etc.; from their being situated in a district, Salarenses, 
de via Atirelia, etc.; or from the street on which they were placed, 

' Sqq Bu/L Inst., 1884, p. 92. ~ Ibid., p. 145. 




a pila alta, ab Eiiripo^ ad Mercuriiim felicem. It is possible, 
however, that some fanciful name might have been selected 
without any reference to the owner or to the site of the works. 
The sheds under which the materials were kept ready for sale or 
for shipment were called horrea and portiis respectively. 

The legends sometimes show curious mistakes of spelling : opiip 
for opus J phig (linae) ioxjig (linae); pradia iox praedia, etc. 

The bricks, again, occasionally bear curious signs, such as foot- 
marks of chickens, dogs, or pigs which stepped over them while 
still fresh, impressions of coins and medals, words or sentences 
scratched with a nail, etc. A bricklayer who had seen, perhaps, 
better times in his youth, wrote on a tegula bipedalis the first 
verse of the Ae?ieid, " Arma virumque cano," etc. 

Names of murdered Emperors were sometimes struck off the 
stamp, like that of Commodus in No. 541, <^ {Corpus Inscr., xv. i). 
After the murder of Geta, the seal AVGGG • NNN, which meant " of 
our three Emperors, Severus, Caracalla, and Geta," was changed 
into AVGG///NN/// by the erasure of the third G and of the 
third N. 

Antiquarians have discussed the question whether the seals 
were cast in metal or carved in hard wood, or whether they were 
made up of movable types encased in a metal frame. The fact 
that letters upside down are not uncommon (like saccessi for 
SVCCESSi) has been adduced to prove that the types were 
movable ; but, on the other hand, we have specimens of seals 
cast bodily in lead or bronze, such as those found in the Tiber 
in 1879 (Visconti, BuH. arch, com.^ 1879, PP- ^97^ 212). There 
is a stamp (No. 1440, a) in which the name of the consul balbin 
has been changed into that of BRTTIO (Brittio) so imperfectly 
that both can be read at the same time. In another (No. 68, d) 
the letter s in the name RAVSI, omitted by the engraver of the 

seal, has been added so, t-RAVI. This expedient shows that 

the missing letter could not have been wedged into its proper 

place. We must discredit, however, the idea that movable types 

were not known to the ancients. Albert Dumont, I?7sc7ipt. 

ceraviiques de Grece, pp. 46 and 395, brings strong evidence in 

favour of it; and A. Milchoefer, A7t?i. Inst.., 1879, p. 90, has 

traced the use of such types in an Etruscan sarcophagus. 

The great manufacturing centre of Roman bricks was the 

district between the viae Triumphalis, Cornelia, and the two 

Aureliae, now called the monti della Greta, which includes the 


southern slopes of the Vatican ridge and the northern of the 
Janiculum. Here also, as at Pozzo Pantaleo, the traces of the 
work of man are simply gigantic. The valleys del Gelsomino, 
delle Fornaci, del vicolo delle Cave, della Balduina, and a 
section of the val d' Inferno are not the work of nature, but 
the result of excavations for " creta figulina," which began 2300 
years ago, and have never been interrupted since. A walk 
through the monti della Creta will teach the student many 
interesting things. The best point of observation is a bluff 
between the vicolo della Cave and the vicolo del Gelsomino, 
marked with the word " Ruderi " and with the altitude of 75 metres 
in the military map of the suburbs. The bluff rises ■^'j metres 
above the floor of the brick-kilns of the Gelsomino. 

There were other important establishments in the plains of 
the Tiber (prati di Castello, monti della Creta beyond S. Paolo) 
and of the Anio (ponte Salario, Civitas Figlina), to which the 
alluvial marls furnished the "materia prima," 

Roman bricks were exported to all the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean : they have been found in the Riviera, on the coast of 
Venetia, of Narbonensis, of Spain and Africa, and in the island 
of Sardinia. One brick from Syria (No. 2415) and two from the 
gulf of Genoa (Nos. 2412, 2413) have been picked up in Rome, 
but they must have been transported here accidentally by ships 
in ballast. 

The brick-making business must have been very remunerative, 
if we judge from the rank and wealth of many personages who 
had an interest in it. Many names of Emperors appear in 
brick -stamps, and even more of Empresses and princesses of 
the Imperial family. (See index to de Rossi's Iscrizioni doliari^ 
pp. 525, 527.) 

Literature. — Marini, Gaetano — Iscrizioni doliari publicate dal comm. G. B. 
de Rossi, co?i annotazioni di Enrico Dressel. Roma, 1884. Descemet — 
Marques de briques relatives a 2me partie de la gens Domitia : Bibl. des Ecoles 
fr. d'Athenes at de Rome, vol. xv. p. 2 ; and Inscriptions doliaires. Visconti, 
C. Ludovico — 071 Brick Stamps, in Parker's Archaeology of Rome, vol. or 
part iv. p. 41. London, 1876. Dressel, Heinrich — Alcnne osservazioni in- 
torno ai holli dei mattoni tirbani, m'RMW. Inst., 1885, p. 98. Untersuchungen 
fiber die Kronologie der Ziegelstempel, 1886. Corpus Inscriptiomim Latinarum, 
vol. XV. I. Berlin, 1891. Lugari, Gio. BaX\.\sXa.—Sopra /' eta di alcuni bolli 
difiguline, in Bull. arch, com., 1895, p. 60. 

XII. Marbles. — It would not be consistent with the spirit of 
this present work to enter, even superficially, on the question of 
Roman marbles. From the topographical point of view (marble 


wharves, warehouses, and sheds, places of sale, offices of adminis- 
tration, artists' studios, and stonecutters' shops) it will be illustrated 
in Book IV. § vii. I refer the reader, in the meantime, to the 
following standard works : — ■ 

Corsi, Faustino — Delle pietre antiche, 3rd ed. Rome, 1845. PuUen, the 
Rev. H. W. — Handbook of Ancient Roman Marbles. London, Murray, 1894. 
Bruzza, Luigi — Iscrizioni del marmi, in Annal. Instit., 1870, p. 106. 

The perusal of these three volumes must go hand in hand 
with the study of the marbles which they describe, so as to 
enable the student to tell them apart. For this purpose splendid 
collections have been placed at our disposal : one at Oxford, 
which numbers 1000 tablets; one in the Geological museum 
in Jermyn Street, London ; a third in the University of the 
Sapienza in Rome, consisting of 600 large and about 1000 
smaller slabs. The best of all is the set bequeathed by 
baron Ravenstein to the museum of the Porte de Hal, 
Brussels. It contains 764 specimens, which were arranged 
and catalogued by Tommaso and Francesco Belli. The variety 
and richness of Roman marbles may be estimated from the 
fact that there are 43 qualities of bigio and 151 of alabaster. 
The rarest marbles known are the breccia d'Egitto, the 
breccia di villa Adriana, and the breccia di villa Casali. 
There are specimens of these exhibited in the first hall of 
the museo Municipale al Celio. The churches of S. Maria 
in Aracoeli, della Minerva, and della Vittoria, the cappella 
Borghesiana in S. M. Maggiore, are noted for their wealth in 
rare marbles. 

XIII. Methods of Construction. — For this subject also I 
must refer the student to the works quoted, pp. 38, 39. The Romans 
have built in opus quadratuin^ i?icerttwi^ retiaelahwi, lateritmin, 
laferitio-reticulaHwi, and in concrete. An excellent set of photo- 
types explaining these various styles of masonry can be found in 
vol. i. part ii. of Parker's Archaeology of Ro?ne, Oxford, London, 
1874 : "The Historical Construction of Walls." 

The following rules are useful to the student for determining 
the age of a Roman building : — 

I. In Rome there are no traces of the so-called Pelasgic or 
polygonal style of masonry.^ The oldest remains, like the 
walls of the Palatine and of the Capitol, are built in opus 

1 Rodolfo Fonteanive — Avanzi detti Ciclopici nella provincia di Roma. 
Roma, Sciolla, 1887. 



quadratum^ in the Etruscan style, with the blocks of tufa placed 
lengthwise in one tier and crosswise in the next. This rule was 
followed through the Republican period. I know of very few 
exceptions : one is the great wall upon which the Constantinian 
basilica of S. Clement is built, Avhere the blocks are all placed 

In Imperial times the exception becomes the rule. The en- 



closure walls of the forum Augustum, of the forum Transitorium, 
etc., and the cellae of many temples show the l)locks placed in 
one direction only. 

The opus quad7'atum was given up (except in the case of restora- 
tions) in the third century after Christ, and imitations in plaster 
substituted for it. The facade of the Senate-house, rebuilt by 
Diocletian, the thermae of Constantine and his basilica Nova, 
the thermae of Diocletian, and parts of the Sessorian palace were 
plastered in this style. (See plates, Nos. 2, 26, 30, etc., in Stefano 


du Perac's Vesiigi delP aiiticJiiia di Roma, and Atti Lincei, an. 
1883, vol. xi. serie iii. pi. 3.) 

2. The opus i7tcertuin (of which Fig. 17, p. 44, gives a 
specimen from the porticus Aemilia, 176 B.C.) marks a transition 
from the polygonal to the reticulated work. The Romans must 
have imported it from Tibur, where it was in great favour. 
Besides the porticus Aemilia, there are (or were in 1872) other 
remains built in this style under the cliff of the Viminal, opposite 
S. Vitale. Photographs of them are given by Parker in Archae- 
ology of Rome, vol. i. 1874, " Construction of Walls," pi. vi. 2. The 
opus incertum was given up about the time of Sulla, and for it was 
substituted the opus reticiilatiim, made of regular tufa prisms in 
imitation of network. There are three kinds of opus reticulatum : 
in the oldest the prisms are small, and the intersecting lines of the 
network slightly irregular ; it marks the infancy of the new style. 
A specimen may be found on the Palatine, on the left-hand side 
of the path which ascends from the foot of the scalae Caci to the 
temple of Jupiter Propugnator. 

In the second stage the prisms become larger, the cross lines 
of the network perfectly straight, while the angles of the walls 
are strengthened with rectangular pieces of tufa resembling large 
bricks. The house of Germanicus on the Palatine is the best 
specimen of this style, which seems to have lasted until the time 
of Trajan. 

The last period, from Trajan to the first Antonines, marks a 
decided improvement in the solidity of the work. The angles 
and arches are built of bricks, and the wall itself strengthened 
by horizontal bands of the same material (Fig. 18). The network, 
therefore, does not cover the whole face of the wall, but is divided 
into panels from 4 to 5 feet high. At the end of the second 
century the opus reticulatum was given up altogether. I have 
never discovered what its advantages were. It did not contribute 
certainly to the solidity of the building, and it demanded more 
skill and time from the mason than the brickwork. In the last 
place, its elegance and beauty were generally concealed by a 
coating of plaster. Yet builders and architects, like Trajan and 
Hadrian, preferred it to any other kind of masonry. The 
extensive warehouses of Ostia, the substructures of the thermae 
Traianae, Hadrian's villa near Tibur, the inner harbour and docks 
at Porto, and a hundred contemporary edifices are built in this 
style. (See Fig. 18, p. 46.) 

3. Opus lateritium. — The fundamental rule for the chronology of 




brick structures is this : the thinner the bed of cement between the 
layers of bricks the older the structure. In other words, in the 
opus lateritium of the golden age the bricks are so close together 
that the line of cement is hardly visible ; while at the end of the 
third century the layer of cement is even thicker than the line of 
bricks. The rule is obviously subject to exceptions, especially 
when the brick facing was destined to be seen, and not to be 
plastered over. In such cases we are apt to find excellent 
specimens of brick " cortina," even in times of decadence. 


The most perfect specimens of brickwork in Rome are some 
portions of the Praetorian camp (the porta decumana, p. principalis 
sinistra), the amphitheatrum Castrense, and the arcus Neroniani 
on the Caelian. The decline in the style can be followed almost 
year by year from the time of the Flavians to that of Constantine. 
I suggest as representatives of periods, more than years, the domus 
Augustana for the time of Domitian; the so-called "baths of Titus" 
for the time of Trajan ; the Pantheon and the spiral staircase of 
the Mausoleum for that of Hadrian ; the villa Quinctiliorum for 
that of Commodus ; the thermae Antoninianae for that of Cara- 
calla ; the substructures of the temple of the Sun in the villa 
Colonna for that of Aurelian ; the baths of Diocletian, the basilica 
Nova, the Senate-house for the end of the third century and the 


beginning of the fourth. These types of construction are care- 
fully illustrated in vol. i. of Parker's Archaeology of Rome. 

I have said that when the brickwork was intended to remain 
exposed to view, and not to be concealed by plaster, it is always 
more perfect than we should expect from the general style pre- 
vailing at the time. 

The best period for ornamental brick-carving in three shades 
of colour — yellow, red, and brown — includes the second half of the 
second century and the beginning of the third. The tomb attri- 
buted to Annia Regilla {Pagan and Christian Rome., p. 291), the 
tombs of the via Latina, the door of the Escubitorium Vigilum at 
the monte de' Fiori, Transtevere {Ancient Rome., p. 231), the 
door of the catacombs of Praetextatus, the temple at S. Urbano 
alia Caffarella {Paga7i and Christiaii Rome., p. 294), are the best 
specimens of this kind of work. 

There is another peculiarity of the opus lateritium which may 
help the student to determine the age of an edifice in doubtful 
cases. The brick facing of a wall is sometimes interrupted by 
parallel horizontal lines of tegulae bipedales of a different hue, from 
3 to 6 feet apart. These lines appear for the first time, I believe, 
in the Pantheon and in the spiral staircase of Hadrian's tomb, 
and are most conspicuous in the buildings of the time of Severus 
and Caracalla. 

XIV. Aqueducts. — One of the praises bestowed by Cicero on 
the founder of the city is locum eligit fontibiis abimdaiitem., "he 
selected a district very rich in springs." A glance at the plan 
(Fig. i) will at once prove the accuracy of the statement. Twenty- 
three springs have been described within the walls, several of 
which are still in existence, others have disappeared owing to the 
increase of modern soil. " For four hundred and forty-one (442) 
years," says Frontinus (i. 4), " the Romans contented themselves 
with such water as they could get from the Tiber, from wells, and 
from springs. Some of these springs are still held in great venera- 
tion on account of their health-restoring qualities, like the spring of 
the Camoenae, that of Apollo, and that of Juturna." 

The springs of the Camoenae were just outside the porta Capena, 
in the slope of the Caelian, behind the church of S. Gregorio, 
and under the wall of the villa Mattel. The remains of the 
temple described by Juvenal {Sat..^ iii. 11) were discovered and 
designed by Pirro Ligorio about 1560. 

Nothing is known of the springs of Apollo. Those of Juturna 




are described at length in Book 1 1, p. 125. The celebrated fountain 
of Egeria remained visible in the lower grounds of the vigna 
Bettini (between the via di S. Stefano Rotondo and the via della 
Ferratella) until 1882, when the vigna was buried under an em- 
bankment 1 1 metres high ; but although the nymphaeum itself 
has disappeared, the waters still seem to find their way to another 
fountain lower down the valley of Egeria. This graceful building 
of the Renaissance stands in the grounds of the villa Mattel — von 
Hoffman, at the corner of the via di p. S. Sebastiano and delle 
Mole di S. Sisto, and the water which inundates its lower floor 
has some medicinal power. Another famous spring, that of the 
Lupercal, has been identified with our sorgente di S. Giorgio, 
which bubbles up in the very bed of the Cloaca maxima, near the 
church of that name. The identity is uncertain. The Tullianum 
still flows in the lower crypt of the prison of that name ; the aquae 
Fontinales in the Cortile di S. Felice, Salita della Dateria, and in 
the house No. 25 Salita del Grillo ; the aqua Damasiana in the 
Cortile di S. Damaso of the Vatican palace, in the fountain 

modelled by Algardi by 
order of Innocent X. 
(1649); the aqua Lan- 
cisiana in front of the 
palazzoSalviati alia Lun- 
gara, where there is a 
basin with three jets, 
designed by Lancisi in 
the time of Clement XI. 

The first aqueduct, 
that of the aqua Appia, 
is the joint work of 
Appius Claudius Caecus 
and C. Plautius Venox, 
censors in 3 1 2 B.C. The 
first built the channel, 
the second discovered 
the springs 1 1 5 3 metres 
north-east of the sixth 
and seventh milestones of the via Collatina. They are still to be 
seen, much reduced in volume, at the bottom of some stone quarries 
near the farmhouse of La Rustica. The channel followed the via 
Collatina, entered Rome ad Spein vetereni (porta Maggiore), 



crossed the valley of the Piscina publica (via di porta S. Sebas- 
tiano) close to the porta Capena, and ended on the left bank of 
the Tiber at the foot of the clivus Publicius (S. Anna, via della 
Salara). Length of channel, 16,445 metres; volume of water 
discharged in twenty-four hours, 115,303 cubic metres. The 
aqueduct of the Appia has been discovered thrice : by Fabretti, 
in the vigna Santoro at the corner of the via di porta S. Paolo 
and the vicolo di S. Balbina (an. 1667) ; by Parker in 1867, in 
the tufa quarries of S. Saba; and by myself in 1888, under the 
remains of the palace of Annia Cornuficia Faustina in the vigna 
Maciocchi, via di porta S. Paolo. It differs in shape from all 
other Roman aqueducts, as shown in Fig. 20. 

Anio vetus. — The second aqueduct was begun in 272 B.C. by 
Manius Curius Dentatus, censor, and finished three years later by 
Fulvius Flaccus. The water was taken from the river Anio 850 
metres above S. Cosimato, on the road from Tivoli to Arsoli 
(Valeria). The course of the channel can be traced as far as 
Gallicano ; from Gallicano to Rome it is uncertain. It entered the 
city ad Spem veterem, a little to the right of the porta Maggiore, 
where Piranesi, Nibby, and myself have seen and designed the 
remains of the "substructio supra terram passuum ccxxi." mentioned 
by Frontinus (i. 6).i From the porta Maggiore to the arch of 
Gallienus (porta Esquilina) the aqueduct can be followed step by 
step, having been laid bare at least twenty times during the con- 
struction of the railway station and of the Esquiline quarter. 
Length of channel, 63,704 metres; volume of water discharged 
an twenty-four hours, 277,866 cubic metres. The Anio vetus was 
set apart for the irrigating of gardens and for the flushing of drains. 

Marcia. — In 144 B.C. the Senate, considering that the increase 
of the population had diminished the rate of distribution of water 
(from 530 litres to 430 per head), determined that the old aqueducts 
of the Appia and the Anio should be repaired, and a new one built ; 
the appropriation for both works being 8,000,000 sesterces, or 
1,760,000 lire. 

The execution of the scheme was entrusted to Q. Marcius Rex. 
He selected a group of springs at the foot of the monte della 
Prugna, in the territory of Arsoli, 4437 metres to the right of the 
thirty-sixth milestone of the via Valeria ; and after many years 
of untiring efforts he succeeded in making a display of the water 
on the highest platform of the Capitol. Agrippa restored the 

^ Piranesi, Antich., vol. i. pi. 10; Nibby, Roma antica, vol. i. p. 339; 
Lanciani, Acqiiedotti, p. 50, pi. iv. fig. 7. 





aqueduct in 33 B.C. ; Augustus doubled the volume of the water 
in 5 B.C. with the addition of the aqua Augusta; in A.D. 79 
Titus rivom aquae Marciae vefustate dilapsitm refecit et aquam quae 
in iisu esse desierat reduxit {Corpus hiscr.^ vol. vi. n. 1246) ; in 
196 Septimius Severus brought in a new supply for the use of his 
thermae Severianae ; in 2 1 2-2 1 3 Caracalla aquam Marciam variis 
kasibus i?npedita?n, purgato fo?i/e, excisis et perforatis montibus^ 
adquisito fonte novo Antoniniano^ in urbevi perducendam curavit 
{ibid. 1245), and built a branch aqueduct, four miles long, for the 


use of his baths ; in 305-306 Diocletian did the same thing for his 
great thermae ; and, finally, Arcadius and Honorius devoted to the 
restoration of the aqueduct the money seized from Count Gildo, 
the African rebel. 

The Marcia followed the right bank of the Anio as far as S. 
Cosimato, and the left as far as Tivoli, where it turns round 
the slope of the monte Ripoli towards S. Gericomio and 
Gallicano. Here begins a line of viaducts and bridges, the most 
magnificent of any that can be found in the whole district of 
Rome. The course of the Marcia (and of her three companions, 
Anio vetus Claudia, and Anio novus) being perpendicular to that 


of the ^•alleys by which this part of the land is thickly furrowed, 
and their level running half-way between the thalweg and the 
summit of the intervening ridges, the engineers were obliged to 
alternate bridges and tunnels, some of which are still perfect. 

A visit to these beautiful highlands will prove most satisfactory 
to the student. It can be done in a day, from the station of 
Zagarolo on the Naples line, thence by diligence to Gallicano, 
and on foot (guide necessary) to the ruins. The bridges are seven 
in number. 

Ponte Lupo^ in the valley dell' Acqua rossa, for the transit of 
four waters, Marcia, Anio vetus, Anio novus, and Claudia, besides 
a carriage-way and a bridle-path. Originally it was built for the 
Anio vetus alone, and its dimensions were 11-20 metres in 
height, 81 -I o metres in length, 275 metres in thickness. After 
the addition of the Marcia, side by side and above it, the structure 
became i6'6o metres high, 88-90 metres long, 12 metres thick. 
Lastly, after the addition of the Claudia and Anio novus, it became 
32 metres high, i 55 metres long, 14 metres thick, without counting 
the buttresses, which are clearly visible in the illustration annexed 
(Fig. 21). All ages, all styles of masonry are represented at 
ponte Lupo, and in the four tunnels which converge towards it or 
radiate from it. 

Ponti delV Lnferno^ in the valley dell' Inferno, for the transit of 
the Claudia and of the Anio novus ; and 

Ponti delle Forme rotte, for the same, in the valley del Fosso 
di S. Gregorio. 

Po7ite di S. Pietro^ in the valley delle Forme rotte, for the 
transit of the acqua Marcia. 

Po7ite di S. Gio7.>anni^ in the same valley, for the transit of the 
Anio vetus. The bridge was rebuilt by Augustus in reticulated 
work, and again repaired in brickwork by one of the late Emperors 
(first arch on the left). 

From Gallicano to the sixth milestone of the via Latina the 
Marcia runs underground ; from the sixth milestone to the porta 
Maggiore, porta S. Lorenzo, and to the present railway station it 
was borne on almost triumphal arcades, built of tufa with mould- 
ings of travertine. The same arcades were afterwards used to 
carry the aqua Tepula and the Julia. The following photograph 
gives the section of the channel at a point where it emerges from 
the ground in the farm of Roma vecchia. A. The channel of the 
Marcia. B. Remains of that of the Tepula above it. C. A 
buttress, probably of the time of Hadrian. D. Another, probably 




of the time of Severus. E. The channel of the acqua Felice, 
built by SixtLis V. FF'. The arcades of the Claudia and of the 
Anio novus. 


The aqueduct reaches Rome at the porta Maggiore (the 
meeting-point of ten waters, Appia, Appia augusta, Anio vetus, 
Marcia, Tepula, Julia, Claudia, Anio novus, Alexandrina, Felice), 
and follows the line of the walls of Aurelian as far as the porta S. 
Lorenzo. The course beyond this gate is so complicated that I 
think it well to refer the student to Sheets xvii. and xviii, of the 
Forma Urbis, in which all particulars are carefully mapped, rather 
than describe it here. 

Aqua Tepula — A, Julia. — The veins, so named from their 


almost tepid temperature of 1 7° Cent., and now called Sorgenti dell' 
acqua Preziosa, were collected at the foot of the Alban hills (valle 
Marciana) in 125 B.C. by the censors Cn. ServiHus Caepio and L. 
Cassius Longinus. For ninety-two years the Tepula reached Rome 
by its own channel ; but in 33 B.C. Agrippa, after he had collected 
the springs of the aqua Julia— higher up the same valley at a place 
now called "II fontanile degli Squarciarelli di Grottaferrata," which 
were much colder and purer, and double in volume — determined to 
mix the two and obtain a compound water superior in quality to the 
Tepula, though slightly inferior to the Julia. The Julia was ad- 
mitted accordingly into the channel of the Tepula at the tenth 
milestone of the via Latina, and the amalgamation allowed to 
proceed for the space of four miles. At the sixth milestone the 
compound water was again divided in two conduits, proportioned 
to the volume of the springs (400 quinariae for the Tepula, and 
1206 for the Julia). The temperature of the Tepula being 17° 
Cent., that of the Julia 10°, and their volumes "i : 3, the mixture 
must have marked at the Piscina a temperature of about 12°, 
which is the best for drinking purposes. Length of channel for 
the Tepula, 17,745 metres ; for the Julia, 22,853 metres. Volume 
of the first, 28,115 cubic metres in twenty-four hours; of the 
second, 76,195. Both were borne on the same arches which 
carried the Marcia. 

Aqua Virgo. — The springs, located at the eighth milestone of 
the via Latina, above the farmhouse of Salone in the val del 
ponte di Nona, were drawn into a canal b)^ Agrippa, and reached 
the city on June 9th, 19 B.C. Length of channel, 20,697 metres ; 
volume in twenty-four hours, 158,203 cubic metres. 

Aqua Alsietina. — "I cannot conceive," says Frontinus (i. i i), 
" why such a wise prince as Augustus should have brought to 
Rome such a discreditable and unwholesome water as the Alsie- 
tina, unless it was for the use of the naumachia " (an oval pond 
531 metres long, 354 metres wide, for naval sham fights). It was 
destined afterwards for the irrigation of the Transtiberine orchards. 
Length of channel, 32,848 metres ; volume, 24,767 cubic metres 
per day. {See Notizie degli Scavi, 1887, p. 182.) 

Aqua Claudia. — None of the Roman aqueducts are eulogised 
by Frontinus like the Claudian. He calls it "opus magnificentissime 
consummatum " ; and after demonstrating in more than one way 
that the volume of the springs collected by Claudius amounted to 
4607 quinariae, he says that there was a reserve of 1600 always 


The works, begun by Caligula in A.D. 38, lasted fourteen years, 
the water having reached Rome only on August 1st, 52 (the birth- 
day of Claudius). The course of the aqueduct was first around 
the slopes of the monte Ripoli, like that of the Marcia and of the 
Anio vetus : Domitian shortened it by several miles by boring a 
tunnel 4950 metres long through the monte Aefliano. (See Anciettt 
Rome^ p. 63.) Length of channel, 68,750 metres, of which i 5,000 
on arches ; volume per day, 209,252 cubic metres. The Claudia 
was used for the Imperial table : a branch aqueduct, 2000 metres 
long, left the main channel ad Spem veterem (porta Maggiore), 
and following the line of the via Caelimontana (villa Wolkonsky), 
of the campus Caelimontanus (Lateran), and of the street now 
called di S. Stefano rotondo, reached the temple of Claudius by 
the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, and the Imperial palace by the 
church of S. Bonaventura. (See Book II. § xxv.) 

Anio novus. — The Anio novus, like the vetus, was at first 
derived from the river of the same name at the forty-second mile- 
stone of the road to Subiaco, great precautions being taken for 
purifying the water by means of a piscina limaria. The works were 
begun by Caligula in A.D. 38, and completed by Claudius on 
August 1st, 52, on a most magnificent scale, some of the arches reach- 
ing the height of thirty-two metres above ground; and there were 
eight miles of them. Yet, in spite of the purifying reservoir, and of 
the clear springs of the rivus Herculaneus (fosso di Fioggio), which 
had been mixed with the water from the river, the Anio novus 
was hardly ever drinkable. Whenever a shower fell on the 
Simbruine mountains, the water would get troubled and saturated 
with mud and carbonate of lime. Trajan improved its condition 
by carrying the head of the aqueduct higher up the valley, where 
Nero had created three artificial lakes for the adornment of his 
villa Sublacensis. These lakes served more efficiently as piscinae 
limariae, or "purgatories," than the artificial basin of Caligula, 
nine miles below. The Anio novus reached Rome in its own 
channel, after a course of 86,964 metres, but for the last seven 
miles it ran on the same arches with the aqua Claudia. The Anio 
novus was the largest of all Roman aqueducts, discharging nearly 
three hundred thousand cubic metres per day. 

There are two places in the suburbs of Rome where these 
marvellous arches of the Claudia and Anio novus can be seen 
to advantage : one is the torre Fiscale, three miles outside 
the porta S. Giovanni, on the Albano road (to be reached also 
from the Tavolato station, on the upper Albano railway) ; the 



other is the vicolo del Mandrione, which leaves the Labicana one 

mile outside the porta Maggiore and falls into the Tusculana at 
the place called porta Furba. A walk through the vicolo del 


Mandrione will make the student more familiar with the aqueducts 
of ancient Rome, their structure and management, their respective 
size and importance, than many books written on the subject. 
He must remember that the higher of the two lines of arches 
carried the Claudia and the Anio novus, the lower carried the 
Marcia, Tepula, and Julia. The ugly channel of the acqua Felice 
takes advantage of the remains of both ; the Alexandrina, Anio 
vetus, and Appia run underground (see Fig. 23). 

Aqua Traiana. — A rule was strictly followed under the Empire, 
that no one should be allowed to build and open thermae for public 
use unless a special supply of water was secured at the same 
time. The aqua Virgo served for Agrippa's thermae and Euripus, 
the Alsietina for the naumachia of Augustus ; Titus repaired and 
increased the volume of the Marcia for the use of his baths, and 
so did Severus, Caracalla, and Diocletian. The construction of 
the thermae Alexandrinae is contemporary with the canalisation 
of the aqua Alexandrina, etc. That of the aqua Traiana seems 
to be also connected with the construction of the thermae Surianae, 
which Trajan had built on the tableland of the Aventine in honour of 
his friend and supporter Licinius Sura. An inscription discovered 
in 1830 at la Conetta, on the Bracciano road {Corptcs^ vol. vi. n. 
1260), and the medal, Cohen hnper.^ ii. 49, n. 305, give the date 
of A.D. 109 for the completion of the aqueduct. Its sources were 
on the western shore of the lago di Bracciano, along the chain of 
hills between Oriolo and Bassano. The various branches met at a 
central reservoir near Vicarello, where the true aqueduct begins. 
It was 57,000 metres long, and discharged 118,127 cubic metres 
per day. 

The aqua Paola of the present day is not at all so good 
as the Traiana, since Paul V., the restorer of the aqueduct, 
has mixed up the good springs with the inferior water of the 

The last water brought into Imperial Rome is the AQUA 
Alexandrina. Its springs, at the foot of monte Falcone, on the 
via Praenestina, were collected in 226 by Severus Alexander, for 
the use of his baths. The aqueduct most minutely described by 
Fabretti {de Aqins, dissert, i.) was about 22 kilometres long, and 
increased the daily supply of the city by 21,632 cubic metres. 
Its most conspicuous remains are to be seen in the valley di acqua 
Bollicante (via Labicana). 

The Roman waters were not equally good. In the scale of 
perfection the Marcia and the Claudia occupy the first place, the 


Virgo comes next, followed by the Appia, Julia, Traiana, Anio 
novus, Alexandrina, Tepula, Anio vetus, and Alsietina. 

The Traiana reached Rome at the considerable height of 
71-16 metres above the sea, the Anio novus at 70*40, the Claudia 
at 67-40, the Julia at 63-73, the Tepula at 60*63, the Marcia at 
58-63, the Anio vetus at 48, the Alexandrina at about 43, the 
Virgo at 20, the Appia at 20 (?), the Alsietina, " omnium humilior," 
at 16-50. 

At the time of Constantine there were in Rome 1 1 great 
thermae, 926 pubhc baths, 1212 public fountains, 247 reservoirs, 
a " stagnum Agrippae," without speaking of private houses, of 
public and private gardens, of docks and warehouses, each well 
provided with water. 

Some of the fountains were of monumental character and rich 
in works of art. Agrippa, while aedile, decorated those existing 
at the time with three hundred marble and bronze statues and 
four hundred columns. We know of one work of art only — an 
"effigies Hydrae" which he placed on the Servilian fountain "ad 
Servilium lacum." The fountains of Prometheus, of the Shepherds, 
of Orpheus, of Ganymedes, of the Four Fish (Scari), of the Three 
Masks, etc., must have been so named from the statues %nd 
marbles with which they were decorated. 

One only of the great fountains has escaped destruction, that 
popularly called " I Trofei di Mario," in the piazza Vittorio Em- 
manuele on the Esquiline. Its- ancient name is not known for 
certain : Lenormant has suggested that of nymphaeum Alexandri ; 
I prefer that of lacus Orphei. Its mediaeval name was Cimbrum 
Marii, a recollection of the monument erected here in memory 
of the victory of the Campi Raudii ; while in the early Renaissance 
it was called " Le oche armate." The trophies which adorned it 
were removed to the piazza del Campidoglio under Sixtus V. 

Piranesi, Gio. Battisla — // Casiello delf acqua Giulia ; and Trofei di 
Ottaviatw Augusto. Roma: R. Calcografia. Lenormant, Fran9ois — Mimoire 
sur la veritable designation du monument connu sous le nom de Trophies de 
Marius : R(5vue Numism., 1849. Lanciani, R. — I comentarii di Frontino, 
P- 173- 

The following table concerning the Roman aqueducts may be 
useful to the student : — 




D S 

— O fo ro 

O 00 

o 3^ 

O O 00 

CO 00 w 

O 'i- O O O O lO 
lO C4 O P) o o ^o 

CO d CO '^ CO 


W) 3 

c o 









vO \0 



























VO 00 r^ OS OsOO H \0 i/l 
H 0) (M H 














































O '^• 
















w CO 1-1 ' 

'■• lo Os ^ nO 
Cv, 1 O P) On 
^00 H (N M 


P P H p 

■* lO 6 00 

OJ \0 O M 

0) CO 

























































"0 00 












• -- .i rt o 

Cu t: CU C/-J 

3 H 37 

o t^ 


<t! oj 

< s 

1 03 g,.? 1 O -3 ^ "H 'S 'S 
^ -^ t- c/) cj '5 2 <u ri 01 ct 

> ^ Oh <>; 


Supposing the inhabitants of Rome to have numbered, suburbs- 
included, one miUion, there was a daily water supply of 1 8oa 
litres per head. In modern Rome, for a population of half a 
million, there are about 760 litres per head. 

The volume of water which supplied Rome may be estimated 
by comparison with the Tiber, which discharges only 1,296,000 
cubic metres per day, while the old aqueducts carried not less 
than 1,747,311 cubic metres. 

Literature. — Fabretti, Raphael — De aquis et aquaednctibus -veteris Romae, 
2nd ed. , Rome, 1788. Cassio, Alberto — Corso delle acque antiche. Rome, 
1757-59. Fea, Carlo — Sioria delle acque dl Roma. Parker, John Henry — 
The Aqueducts of Ancient Rome. Oxford, London, 1876. Bettocchi, 
Alessandro — Le acque e gli acquedotti di Roma antica e moderna, in Monografia 
della citta di Roma, vol. ii. ch. xix. 1881. Lanciani, Rodolfo — / comentarii 
di Frontino intorno le acque e gli acquedotti. Roma, Salviucci, 1880. 

An interesting collection of objects connected with the supply and distri- 
bution of water in ancient Rome is exhibited in Hall No. VI. of the museo 
Municipale al Celio. 

XV. MURI Urbis (the Walls). — Rome has been fortified 
seven times, with seven lines of walls : by the first King, by 
Servius TulHus, by Aurelian, by Honorius, by Leo IV., by 
Urban VIII., and by the Italian Government. 

The literature on this point of Roman history and topography 
is very copious. The works in which the subject is treated from 
a general point of view are — 

Nibby, Antonio — Le mu7-a di Roma, disegnate da Sir IV. Cell. 1820. 
Piale, Stefano — Six Memoirs, reprinted from the Atti della pont. Accadeinia 
rom. d'Anheologia. 1820-35. Becker, Adolf — De Romae veteris muris atque 
portis. Lipsiae, 1842. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Le mura e le porte di Servio, in 
Annal. Inst., 1871, p. 40; and Bull. arch, com., 1876, pp. 24, 121 (1888, 
p. 12). Jordan, Heinrich — Topographie, vol. i. p. 200 : Beschreibung der 
servianischen Mauer, p. 340, die aurelianische Mauer. Quarenghi, Cesare — 
Le mura di Roma. Roma, 1882. 

XVI. MURUS ROMULI (Walls of the Palatine). It is probable 
that the Alban colonists of the " hill of Pales," protected by marshes 
and cliffs, contented themselves with raising a palisade and cutting 
a ditch at the only weak point of their natural fortress, viz. across 
the neck of the Velia. After coming in contact with their more 
advanced neighbours, like the inhabitants of the tiirrigerae 
Antemnae, they thought it more expedient to follow their example, 
and wall in and fortify their village, which was at the same time 
the fold of their cattle. 


The text most frequently quoted in reference to the murus 
RomuH is that of Tacitus (^4 ;?;?., xii. 24), according to which the 
furrow ploughed by the hero — the sulcus primigenius — started 
from a point in the forum Boarium, marked in later times by the 
bronze Bull of Myron ; and followed the valley between the Palatine 
and the Aventine as far as the altar of Consus, the valley between 
the Palatine and the Caelian as far as the Curiae veteres, the 
east slope of the hill as far as the sacellum Larum. The same 
historian says that the Ara maxima of Hercules was included 
within the furrow, and Dionysius, that Vesta's temple was outside 
it. The furrow followed the foot of the cliffs or slopes of the 
Palatine, its course being marked with stone cippi. Others affirm 
that the city of Romulus was square {TeTpdytovos — Roma quadrata). 
The truth is that neither the walls nor the pomerium of Romulus 
can be said to make a square ; that a line drawn from beyond 
the Ara maxima to the Ara Consi cannot be said to go " along the 
foot of the cliffs of the Palatine " {/^er ima viontis Palati7ti) ; that 
the valley in those days was covered with water, deep enough to 
be navigated by canoes, so that neither a furrow could be ploughed 
through it, nor stone cippi set up to mark the line of the furrow. 
Moreover, the same marshes extended on the south-east side as far 
as the Curiae veteres, on the north-west as far as the temple of Vesta; 
and the shape of the Palatine walls was rather trapezoid, like that 
of a terramara of the valley of the Po, than square, like an Etruscan 
teinphimj whilst, lastly, the name of Roma quadrata did not belong 
to the city on the hill, but to the altar described in Pagan a?id 
Christian Rome, p. 70, which stood in front of the temple of Apollo. 

There is manifestly a chronological error in speaking of places 
and things not as they were in the earliest days of Rome, but as 
they appeared after the draining of the marshes. A confusion is 
also to be observed in ancient and modern writers with regard to 
the line of the walls and the line of the pomerium marked by 
stone cippi. The two are almost independent, and wide apart. 
The existing remains of the walls, at the west corner of the hill, 
are 220 metres distant from the site of the Ara maxima, 
which was itself within the pomerium. The walls of Romulus 
have been discovered in six places, marked A, B, C, P), E, F 
in the annexed map. They will be described in Book 11, § viii. 

XVI 1. Other Walls of the Kingly Period. — Although 
we find in classic texts mention of what may have been 
fortifications, independent of those on the Palatine — like the 



murus terreus Carinarum, the Capitolium vetus, and the arx or 
citadel on the Aracoeli summit of the Capitoline hill — yet there is 
but one existing relic which can possibly be considered as such : 
a fragment of a wall in the garden, via dell' Arco di Settimio, 
No. I. It is identical in material and style of masonry with the 
walls of the Palatine. 

Literature. — Piale, Stefano — Del secondo recinfo di Rotna fatto da Numa, 
e delle aggiunte degli altri re. Roma, 1833. Lanciani, R. — Amiali 
Instituto, 1871, p. 42. Scheiner, Arthur — Atis Roms Fruhezeit, in Mittheil. , 
1895, p. 160. 

XVIII. The Walls of Servius Tullius. — In the eulogy 
of Bartolomeo Borghesi the late comm. de Rossi remarks justly 
that we know more on some points of Roman history, in- 
stitutions, religion, etc., than the ancients did. The same 
thing may be repeated as regards some points of Roman 
topography. Dionysius, for instance, says that the walls of 
Servius Tullius had become SvcrcvpeTot ^ in the Augustan age, 
on account of the structures of every description, public and 
private, which had been built against, across, and above them. 
Owing to discoveries made since i860, we can trace the line 
of the Servian walls and of the agger, describe its structure, 
and locate its gates more exactly 
than Dionysius could have done. 

The walls run against the face 
of the cliffs (of the Capitoline, 
Quirinal, Oppian, Caelian, and 
Aventine) at two -thirds of their 


height above the plain, and cross '^>///M^^. 
the intervening valleys at their 
narrowest point. 

They are built of blocks of 
tufa, exactly 2 feet high (0-59 
metre), placed alternately length- 
wise and crosswise, the tufa being 
of an inferior quality and yellowish- 
grey in colour. The thickness of 
the wall varies from 2 to 3^^ metres ; the maximum height 
yet discovered is 12*98 metres (vigna Torlonia, Aventine, Fig. 29). 
The blocks are not cemented, at least not in the original structure. 
I have only once found "traces of lime, in a joint of one of the 

FIG. 25. 

Difficult to trace. 




buttresses (corner of via Volturno and Gaeta) ; but, as a rule, 
the use of cohesive substances seems to have been unknown to or 
despised by the engineers of Servius. The blocks which form 
the face of the wall are well squared, and fit into each other 
so that the joints are rendered almost invisible, but they are 
irregularly cut inside. On the Aventine, however, and especially 
in the space between the church of S. Saba and that of 
II Priorato di Malta, the walls, instead of resting against the live 
rock of the cliffs or the earth of the slopes, have an inside lining 
of concrete, the thickness of which equals or exceeds that of the 
"opus quadratum " itself This part of the fortifications is not 
original, but seems to have been rebuilt or strengthened by 


FIG. 26. 

Across the valleys or tablelands the system of defence varies 
altogether. There is a ditch, and an embankment made with the 
earth excavated from the ditch. The embankment is supported 
on the outer side by a strong wall, fortified with buttresses, while 
on the inner side it slopes down at an incline of 35° or 40°. 
Sometimes there is a second supporting wall on the inner side, 
weaker and much lower than the outer one. Two roads run 
parallel with the fortification, one at the foot of the inner wall, 
one on the outer edge of the ditch. This system of defence was 
called an agger. 

Topographical books state that in the circuit of the Servian 
city there was but one agger, between the CoUine and the 
Esquiline gates ; but recent discoveries prove that all weak 
points of the circuit were fortified in that way. We have found 
the agger in the higher part of the Esquiline, near the palazzo Field, 
via Merulana : on the Smaller Aventine, near S. Saba : and on 


the Quirinal, by the piazza di Magnanapoli, etc. Yet there is no 
denying that the one between the Cohine and EsquiHne gates, 
for strength, size, elevation, and length, is the agger " par 
excellence," from which a street {siibager) and a promenade 
(ytiunc licet aggere in aprico spatiari) were named in classic 
times, and a whole district {7no?is Siiperagiiis) in the Middle 

I shall point out to the reader now which of the re- 
mains of this venerable fortification deserve a visit, and 
which are the sites of its historical gates. (See map of Walls.) 
First, as to the river-front, Livy (ii. 10) and Dionysius (v. 23) 
distinctly assert that the bank was unprotected, because the river 
itself, with its wide bed and swift current, was considered to 
afford a sufficient protection. Yet there is no portion of the 

3 00 

whole circuit of the Servian city at which the fortifications are 
more evident or better preserved than at the river-front. I made 
designs of every fragment of them before the construction of the 
modern quays, and I do not think there is a break of 50 metres 
between the two extreme points (marked approximately by the 
pons Fabricius and the pons Sublicius). The construction is 
the same everywhere : a foundation -wall about 2 metres high 
above low- water mark, forming a step or a landing 3 metres 
wide, and a wall 6 metres high supporting the bank. I have 
found traces of cement in the upper layers of stones, as well as 
traces of an inner lining of concrete. Both may pertain to later 

The walls left the river half-way between the churches of S. 
Maria Egiziaca and S. Nicola in carcere, and reached the rocks 
of the Capitol at the via della Bufola. Three gates opened in this 
short tract : the Flumentana by the river (via della Fiumara, 


destroyed 1882), the Triumphalis (via della Bocca della Veritk), 
and the CarmentaHs (via della Bufola). Consult — 

Becker, Adolf — De muris, p. 81. Braun, Emil — Monument. Inst., 1854, 
p. 78,tav. X. Donati, Alessandro — De urbe Roma, p. 79. 

The Capitoline was strongly fortified on the side facing the 
Campus Martius. Remains of the wall can be seen on the edge 
of the rock which supports the Caffarelli palace (I) ; on the 
ascent to the piazza del Campidoglio, called La salita delle tre 
Pile (II) ; and in the substructures of the monument to Victor 
Emmanuel (III). They intersected the via di Marforio between 
Nos. 8 1'^^ and 8 1"*, where the porta Ratumena must be located. The 
direction of the via Flaminia, which issued from this gate, is 
marked by the tomb of C. Poplicius Bibulus on one side, and the 
so-called tomb of the Claudii on the other. 

From the porta Ratumena to the porta Fontinalis, under the 
palazzo Antonelli, piazza Magnanapoli, the walls must have been 
destroyed by Trajan when he cut away the spur of the Quirinal 
to make room for his forum. The porta Fontinalis is the only 
one left standing in the whole circuit (IV). Other remains are 
to be seen in the beautiful villa Colonna (V), upon which rest 
those of the temple of the Sun ; others under the villa Spithoever, 
via delle Finanze (VI). Two gates opened in this tract : the 
Sanqualis, the approximate site of which is shown by the tomb 
of the Sempronii, discovered in 1866 near the top of the salita 
della Dataria ; and the porta Salutaris, under the palazzo Crawshay, 
via delle quattro Fontane. The agger began at the junction of 
the via di porta wSalaria with the via venti Settembre, crossed the 
Treasury buildings, the via Volturno, the railway station, the 
piazza Fanti, the via Carlo Alberto, and ended near the con- 
servatory of the gardens of Maecenas in the via Merulana. It 
was almost intact before the construction of the new quarters 
and of the railway station ; now there are scanty remains to be 
seen (VII) in the piazza del Maccao ; in the Goods Station, via di 
porta S. Lorenzo (VIII) ; in the gardens of the Acquario romano 
(IX) ; and in the via Carlo Alberto (X). The porta Collina, dis- 
covered in 1873 2-t the junction of the via Goito and the via venti 
Settembre, was destroyed for the erection of the north-east pavilion 
of the Treasury buildings. (See map in A7icient Ro7ne., p. 145.) 
Traces of the porta Viminalis are visible in the Goods Station, 
while the porta Esquilina is represented by the arch of Gallienus, 
via di S. Vito. 



The annexed cut represents an excavation made in 1877 at 
the foot of the agger, to determine the breadth and depth of the 


great ditch. It seems that when the agger itself was transformed 
into a pubHc walk, the ditch was filled up and turned into 



building lots. Traces of a private house can be seen at the 
bottom of the trench. 

Beyond the last fragment visible in the via Merulana (XI) we 
lose sight of the fortifications, although their course and the site 
of the gates Querquetulana, Caelimontana, and of a third near the 
piazza della Navicella can be distinctly traced from discoveries 
made in times gone by. 

The famous porta Capena, which marks the beginning of the 
Appian way, seems to have been discovered twice : by Orazio 
Orlandi in the latter part of last century ; and by Mr. J. H. Parker 
in 1867, in the slope of the Caelian, behind the apse of S. Gregorio. 
Parker gives a view of his excavation in Plate xviii. of the 
Aqueducts of A7tcient Rome : London, Murray, 1876. The site 
of the gate can be determined to-day by means of a remarkable 
fragment of the walls (XII) visible in the wine-cellar of the Osteria 
della porta Capena, in the gardens of S. Gregorio, via di porta 
S. Sebastiano, No. i. 

On the other side of the valley the walls appear again, in 
front and under the old abbey of S. Balbina, now a house of 
refuge for women (XIII) ; at a corner of the via di S. Saba and 
the via di porta S. Paolo (XIV) ; on the via di porta S. Paolo 
itself, where the road bifurcates, one arm descending towards the 
gate, the other towards the monte Testaccio (XV). This is the 
finest ruin of all, because it shows the restorations of the time of 
Camillus resting on the original structure of Servius. Fig. 29 
represents the present state of the ruin, but more than half of it 
is concealed by the accumulation of modern soil. I had the 
good fortune to see it completely exposed to view in 1868, when 
I took the drawing a facsimile of which is here given. 

There is another fragment to be seen in the adjoining vigna 
Maccarani-Torlonia (XVI), some stones of which were removed by 
padre Secchi, the astronomer, to the Observatory of the Collegio 
Romano, to serve as a pedestal for the great Merz equatorial. 
The walls appear again against the cliff of the Aventine, at the 
Arco di S. Lazzaro, via di Marmorata (XVII) ; and lastly, under 
the convent of S. Sabina, where they were laid bare in 1856 
(XVIII). There is absolutely no trace of Servian fortifications on 
the opposite or Transtiberine side of the river. 

Four gates opened in the walls between the porta Capena and 
the Tiber : the Naevia, on the via Aventina, from which issued 
the via Ardeatina ; the Rudusculana, on the via di porta S. 
Paolo, from which issued the via Ostiensis ; the Navalis, on the 



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via di S. Maria Aventinese ; and the Trigemina, on the via di 

Many stones built into the original wall of Servius are marked 
with signs or letters, which have given rise to much speculation. 
Consult : — Bruzza, Luigi — Soprai segni incisi nei massi delle imira, 
etc.: Annali Inst., 1876, pis. i, k. Jordan, Heinrich — Topo- 
graphte, vol. i. p. 259, pis, i, 2. Richter, Otto — Uder antike 
Steiftjnetzzeicken, 1885. 

Literature. — Becker, Adolf — De Romae veteris nuiris atque portis, p. 81 ; 
and Topographic, p. 92. Dyer, Thomas — History of the City of Roine, p. 47. 
Bergau, R. — Die Befestigung Roms durch Tarquinius Priscus und Servius 
Tullius. Gottingen, 1867. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Sulle mura e porte di Servio : 
Ann. Inst., 1871, p. 40; and Bull. arch, com., 1876, pp. 24, 121. Jordan, 
Heinrich — Topographic, vol. i. p. 200. Richter, Otto — Die Befestigung des 

XIX. Walls of Aurelian and Probus, a.d. 272. — We 
have no account of the construction of the walls of Aurelian. 
We only know, in a general way, that the Emperor was com- 
pelled to fortify the capital by the barbarian invasion of A.D. 
271, in the course of which the enemy had reached the 
banks of the Metaurus ; that, during the respite between the 
Marcomannic and the Palmyrene campaigns, he enclosed the 
city " muris quam validissimis " ; and that the great undertaking, 
begun in 272, was finished by Probus about seven years later. 

The circuit of the walls, which I have measured inch by inch 
for the construction of the Forma Urbis., measures 18,837 metres. 
The strip of land occupied by these fortifications is 19 metres 
wide : $ of which are taken by the inner " chemin de ronde," 4 by 
the walls themselves, 10 by the outside road. 358,000 square 
metres were consequently expropriated by Aurelian ; and, as the 
land was thickly covered with villas, houses, gardens, and tombs, 
the cost of purchase must have been considerable. At 20 lire 
the square metre it would reach 7,000,000 lire. 

The walls consist of a solid foundation of concrete from 3-50 
to 4 metres thick, faced with triangular bricks ; of a covered way 
with loopholes on the outside and a gallery or arcade in the 
inner side ; and of a terrace or balcony above, lined with battle- 
ments (Fig. 30). There are towers at an interval of 100 Roman 
feet (2970 metres), projecting from 4 to 5 metres. Each tower 
contains a staircase giving access to the lower corridor and to 
the terrace above. According to the survey made by Amnion, 
after the restoration of the walls by Arcadius and Honorius in 



403, there were 381 towers in all, exclusive of those of the 
mausoleum of Hadrian (Hadrianium), which had been converted 




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^_ V T^^^H 

fc:i-Jl^^y*^:!:r::. ^^'SHI 



into a " tete du pont," to prevent the approach of the enemy 
from the via Triumphalis and the prata Neronis. Of these 381 


towers only one has come down to us in a perfect state — the 
sixth to the left of the porta Salaria. We can judge from its 
elegance and good construction that the builders of the walls 
had tried to disfigure the monumental city as little as possible ; 
we can judge also how much damage the walls must have suffered 
in the course of centuries to be reduced to their present state of 
decay ! 

These noble walls, which have so often saved the city from 
pillage and destruction, on the face of which our history is 
written almost year by year, and which were so carefully preserved 
even in the darkest period of the Middle Ages, are now doomed 
to disappear. State and city have with equal promptness declined 
to undergo the expense of keeping them in repair. A section 
of them, 70 metres long, fell in 1893 between the porta S. 
Giovanni and S. Croce in Gerusalemme. The only measure 
taken was a warning given to passers-by that another portion 
would soon share the same fate. 

The volume of masonry employed in the construction of the 
walls is estimated at 1,033,000 cubic metres. The cost at the 
present day would have exceeded 26,000,000 lire, but we cannot 
rhake any calculation for Aurelian's time, because we do not know 
what were the price of labour and the cost of building materials 
in his day. As a rule the walls are built with the spoils of the 
edifices which stood on their line and were demolished to clear 
the space ; only the surface and the arches are coated with bricks 
made for the occasion. Two recent discoveries illustrate this 
point : they also bear evidence to the hurry with which the work 
was done, and therefore to the greatness of the peril from which 
Rome had escaped.^ 

A piece of the walls was cut away in November 1884, 
between the third and the fourth tower on the right of the 
porta S. Lorenzo, for the opening of the new Viale del 
Camposanto. An older construction had been embedded there 
in the thickness of the masonry, viz. a garden wall encrusted 
with shells, enamel, and pumice-stones, with niches worked in 
a rough kind of mosaic, and crowned by a cornice covered 

^ The victory of Aurelian on the banks of the Metaurus must have been 
so decisive that the whole Empire rejoiced at it. It is recorded even in the 
formulae of contemporary gaming-tables {tabulae lusoriae). One of these, 
discovered in 1892 in the catacombs of Priscilla, contains the words, hostes • 
victos • Italia • gaudet • Indite • Romani ; another, discovered almost at the 
same time in the cemetery of S. Eucharius at Treves, says, virtus - imperi • 
hostes - vincti • ludaiit • Romani. 


with sheets of lead. When Aurelian's engineers met with this 
obstacle, they did not lose time in demolishing it, but embedded 
it in their own masonry. So far this is not remarkable ; but 
what remains inexplicable is that the statues were ?iot removed 
from their niches. 

We have found them one by one in their original places ; and 
they are not the work of an ordinary chisel, but delicate pieces 
of Greco-Roman sculpture — so much so that Prof, Petersen has 
not disdained to give illustrations of them in the Bull. arch, 
com., vol. xvii., a. 1889, p. 17, tav. i, 2. The statues and the 
whole front of the garden wall were not damaged by the new 
construction, because the engineers had taken care to protect 
them with a coating of clay. Traces of this nymphaeum are 
still to be seen on the left of the new Barriera di S. Lorenzo. 
The- second discovery was made in February 1892 on the 
line of the via Montebello, between the garden of the English 
Embassy and the Praetorian camp. Here a private house of 
the first century stood on the line of the walls. One would have 
expected the house to have been levelled to the ground, and the 
walls raised on the space left free by the demolition ; but the 
engineers, in their haste, satisfied themselves with filling up the 
space between the sides of each room, leaving intact mosaic 
pavements, marble stairs, lintels, thresholds, and frescoes. This 
done, as soon as their own masonry was sufficiently hardened, 
they shaved off, as it were, whatever projected on either side, and 
went on with their work. 

We come now to an important, and altogether new, point of 
research. For what cause, and from what military, technical, or 
financial reasons was this special course of the walls selected ? 
and why were some important districts of the city left out, others 
included which contained nothing but tombs ? The answer is 
easily given. The course selected was that of the octroi, which 
followed closely that of the pomerium, or in other words, the line 
of separation between the city proper (continentia aedificia) and 
the suburbs (expatiantia tecta). Much has been written about 
the octroi line by 

Mommsen, Tlieodor — Berichte d. sacks. Gesellsck., 1850, p. 309. De 
Rossi, Gio. Battista — Archaeol. Anzeiger, 1856, p. 147 ; and Pi ante di Roma, 
ch. vii. p. 46. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 1016, a, b, c. Ephemeris Epigr., 
vol. iv. p. 276. Laiiciani, Rodolfo — Bull. arch, com., vol. xx. , 1892, p. 93. 

It wa:s marked by stone cippi, five of which have been 
described by epigraph ists. The first was found, at the time 


of Andrea Fulvio, on the landing-place of the Tiber, under 
the Aventine. It bore the inscription — 


which proves that duties were levied also on some kind of 
merchandise and provisions which came by water. The other 
four belong to the reorganisation of the octroi made by M. 
Aurelius and Commodus about the year A.D. 175, and they are all 
inscribed with the same regulations. "These terminal stones 
have been set up, in consequence of the quarrels which often 
arise between the importers and the tax-receivers, to show which 
is the exact line of the octroi according to the ancient custom." 

The place of discovery of the first stone is uncertain ; the 
second was found near the porta Salaria ; the third near the 
porta Flaminia ; the fourth near the porta Asinaria. They 
stood, therefore, on the very line followed a century later by 
Aurelian's walls. Now it is evident that whoever establishes a 
financial barrier round an open city must try to take advantage 
of every existing natural or artificial obstacle to prevent smug- 
gling and fraud. Another obvious precaution is to reduce to a 
minimum the number of openings, so as to save the expense of 
a large staff of officers. Between two openings, viz. between two 
toll-houses, they must have raised palisades, stone walls, hedges, 
or excavated ditches, unless the obstacles offered by the undulations 
of the ground or by pubHc edifices afforded sufficient protection 
against smuggling. This was exactly the case with Rome, where 
one-sixth of the whole octroi line had been found ready-made by 
the substructure of the horti Aciliani on the Pincian (550 metres) ; 
by the enclosure wall of the horti Sallustiani (1200 metres), and 
of the Praetorian camp (1050 metres); by the arcades of the 
Marcian (800 metres), and of the Claudian aqueducts (475 metres); 
and lastly, by the amphitheatrum Castrense (100 metres). The 
octroi line, therefore, of the time of M. Aurelius and Commodus 
comprised an enclosure built on the principles of financial strategy, 
with first-class gates and custom-houses on the main roads and 
river-landings, and with posterns and small pickets on the smaller 
lanes and landings of ferry-boats. From such financial fortifica- . 
tions to the walls of Aurelian the step is very short. Aurelian 
simply changed into a strong bulwark the octroi enclosures, 
respecting its gates, posterns, and ferries. 

References. — Becker, Adolf — De muris atque portis. Lipsiae, 1842. 
Nibby, Antonio, and Gell, William — Le viiira di Roma, 1820. Miintz, Eugene 


— Les arts a la cour des Papes, passim. De Rossi, G. Battista — Bull. arch, 
crist., serie v., anno ii. , 1891, p. 35. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Le mura di 
Aureliatio e di Probo : Bull. arch, com., xx. p. 87. 

The late John Henry Parker prepared illustrations of the walls of Aurelian 
by numerous drawings and photographs, the first by Cicconetti, the second by 
Lucchetti. The collection of drawings belongs now to the Commissione Arch, 
comunale di Roma ; the negatives of the photographic collection were destroyed 
by fire in July 1893. 

XX. Restoration of the Walls by Honorius. — The 
restoration of the walls by Arcadius and Honorius was com- 
menced, according to Claudianus, " audito rumore Getarum," 
from the fear of an advance of the Goths under Alaric, and 
was completed in January 402 under the direction of Stilicho. 
The great undertaking was celebrated by several inscriptions 
engraved above the gates, of which three only have survived 
destruction : those of the portae Tiburtina, Praenestina, and 
Portuensis. (See Corpus Liscr.., vol, vi. n. 1188-90.) 

These inscriptions speak of " instauratos urbi aeternae muros, 
portas ac turres, egestis immensis ruderibus," Macrobius Longini- 
anus being the prefect of the city. The catastrophe, however, was 
not avoided but deferred. Alaric crossed the Alps from Illyria 
towards the end of 402, and showed himself before the walls of 
Milan, while Honorius was entrenching himself at Ravenna. 
Stilicho, by a miracle of energy and bravery, collected an army, 
reached the Goths at Pollenzo, and defeated them in the spring of 
403. The victory was celebrated by Honorius in the following 
year, with the last triumph witnessed in Rome, the last spark of 
a noble light about to vanish for ever. The pageant marched 
along the walls just restored, and ended at the triumphal arch 
raised to the glory of the Emperor and his associates — QVOD 


Six years later, on August 24th, 410, Alaric and the Getarum 
Natio entered Rome by the porta Salaria I 

Without entering into particulars concerning this restoration 
of the walls and gates, I shall only dwell a moment on the tale it 
tells about the fate of Rome at the beginning of the fifth century. 
StiHcho and Honorius found the walls almost buried under a mass 
of rubbish and refuse (immensa rudera) ; and as they had neither 
time nor means to clear the rubbish away they levelled it on 
the spot, and raised at once the level of that strip of city land from 

^ See Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 1196. The inscription of the arch refers 
also to the victory gained by Stilicho over Radagaisus in 405. 


9 to 13 feet. The thresholds of the portae Flaminia, Tiburtina, 
Praenestina, and Ostiensis of Honorius are as much as this above 
those of the time of Aurelian. And what destructions were accom- 
phshed for the sake of providing materials ! It is enough to quote 
the instance of the porta Appia, the bastions of which were rebuilt 
of solid marble from the celebrated temple of Mars which stood 
outside the gate. 

XXI. Gates of Aurelian and Honorius. — The gates of 
the city of Rome have seen more history during the 1624 years 
of their existence than any other monuments of the ancient world. 
Considering that even the volume of Gell and Nibby is far from 
being exhaustive on this point of historical topography, I could 
hardly enter into the subject myself. The student will find detailed 
information in the works mentioned below. 

Starting from the left bank of the Tiber, above the ponte 
Margherita, we must mention, first, the corner tower of great 
strength, which was considered by the Romans to be haunted by 
the ghost of Nero : ubi umbra Neronis diu mansitavit. It was 
also called Lo Trullo. 

Visconti, C. Ludovico — Bull. arch, com., 1877, p. 195. Lanciani, Rodolfo 
— Fortna Urbis, pi. i. Corvisieri, Constantino — Archivio Societa storia patria, 
vol. i. p. 92, n. I. 

Between the river and the porta Flaminia (del Popolo) there 
was a beautiful tomb, upon which the third tower left of the gate 
is planted. 

Urlichs, Ludwig — Codex topogr., p. 243. Bull. arch, com., 1891, p. 140. 

The porta Flaminia of Honorius, flanked by two round 
towers, was discovered in 1877 during the demolition of the two 
square bastions of Sixtus IV. 

Visconti, C. Ludovico — Bull. arch, com., 1^77, p. 209. Corvisieri, 
Constantino — Archivio Societa storia patria, vol. i. p. 79, n. i. Adinolfi, 
Pasquale — Roma ?iell' eid di mezzo, vol. i. p. 81. Tommasetti, Giuseppe — 
Archivio Societa storia patria, vol. vi. p. 173. 

Behind the apse of S. Maria del Popolo the walls reach the 
north-east corner of the Pincian hill, the substructures of which, 
built by the Acilii Glabriones, were so gigantic in size and height 
that no extra works of defence were added to them by Aurelian. 
At the opposite or north-east corner of the hill we find the 
" muro torto," a piece of the substructure which is inclined 
outwards at an angle of six or seven degrees. Procopius 


{Goth.^ i. 23) describes it exactly as we see it now. In the 
Middle Ages women of ill fame were buried at the foot of the 
inclined wall, and in more modern times men and women who 
died impenitent. 

The porta Pinciana, originally a modest postern, was trans- 
formed into its present shape by Belisarius. It opens on the via 
Salaria vetus, which took the name of Pincia or Pinciana at the 
end of the fourth century. This gate will always get a share of 
the interest we feel in the gallant defender of Rome in 537. The 
Goths of Vitiges were encamped on the monti Parioli, watching 
the porta Pinciana ; and on the site of the villa Albani, watching 
the porta Salaria. The best feat of the siege was the sally made 
by Belisarius, in the course of which the barbarians were driven 
back as far as the Anio. The Byzantine leader rode a white 
charger, named ^ctAiov by Procopius, and Bahui by the Goths ; 
but, in spite of prodigies of valour, his men began to waver, and 
he was obliged to retreat. The garrison of the porta Pinciana, 
not recognising the leader, covered as he was with dust and blood, 
obliged the retreating party to face the enemy again and drive 
them away from the w^alls. Belisarius at last entered the gate 
amidst frantic cheering, and his name was given to the gate itself 
(porta BeHsaria) in memory of the eventful day. 

From the Pinciana to the Salaria the walls of Aurelian are in 
splendid preservation. A tower, the sixth before reaching the Salaria, 
is the only perfect one in the whole circuit. The porta Salaria 
of Honorius, injured by the bombardment of September 20th, 1870, 
was rebuilt in the present form by Vespignani. The discoveries 
made on this occasion are described by 

Visconti, C. Ludovico — II fanciullo Q. Sulpicio Massimo. Roma, 1871. 
Henzen, Wilhelm — Sepolcri antichi rinvenuti alia porta Salaria, in Bull. 
Inst., 1 87 1, p. 98. Ciofi, Giovanni — Inscript. . . . Q. Sulpicii Maximi. 
Romae, 1871. Parker, J. H. — Tombs in and near Rome, Oxford, 1877, pi. 10. 
Pagan and Christian Rome, p. 280. 

The porta Pia, a work of 1561, by Matteo da Castello, stands 
75 metres to the left of the ancient gate of the time of Honorius. 
It was first called Nomentana, and later on porta S. Agnetis and 
porta della Donna. Its two round towers are built, as usual, over 
classic tombs. The one on the right was excavated in 1827 by 
Zamboni. It belonged to Quintus Haterius, called by Tacitus 
" senex foedissimae adulationis." 

After passing two posterns in the portion of the walls which 
surround the garden of the English Embassy, we meet with the 




Praetorian camp, described in Book IV. ; and, on the other side of 
it, with the porta Chiusa, which gave access to the Vivarium or 
Imperial menagerie, where wild beasts were kept in readiness for 

FIG. 3 

the games of the amphitheatre. The walls on this part of the 
city have been largely restored with blocks of stone from the 
enclosure wall of the Vivarium. 


The porta S. Lorenzo, spanning the via Tiburtina, was one of 
the most remarkable before 1869, when Pius IX. caused it to be 
demolished, to make use of the stones of which it was built for 
the foundations of the Colonna del Concilio on the Janiculum. 
The gate was double : the outside arch, dating from the time of 
Augustus, carried the Marcia, Tepula, and Julia over the road; the 
inside formed part of the fortifications. Fig. 3 1 (preceding page), 
from a photograph taken in 1868, shows the rise in the level of 
the city from the time of Augustus to that of Honorius, as the 
threshold of the gate of the fourth century is on the same level 
with the spring of the arch of Augustus. 

Between the porta Tiburtina (S. Lorenzo) and the Praenestina 
(Maggiore) the walls follow the line of the arcades of the Marcia, 
Tepula, and Julia, beautiful remains of which can be seen in the 
inner side, near the new barriera. 

The porta Praenestina, a magnificent work of Claudius in the 
so-called rustic style, served originally for the transit of the Claudia 
and Anio novijs over the roads leading to Praencste and Labicum. 
Honorius walled up one of the archways, and fortified the other 
with towers resting on tombs. The towers and the gate were 
destroyed in 1838, when the panaritnn of the baker M. Vergilius 
Eurysaces and of his wife Atistia were laid bare. 

Canina, Luigi — Sul luogo denominato la Speranza vecchia. Roma, 1839. 
Bull. Inst., 1838, p. 144. An7i. Inst., 1838, p. 221. Corpus Inscr., vol. i. 
pp. 222, 223 ; vol. vi. n. 1958. 

The next piece of the wall, from the porta Maggiore to S. Croce 
in Gerusalemme, must be visited from the garden annexed to this 
church. It appears like a combination of aqueducts and forti- 
fications, of classic, mediaeval, and modern structures, ivy-clad and 
exceedingly picturesque. The entrance is from the first gate on 
the left of the church. 

After passing the amphitheatrum Castrense, described in Book 
IV. § XV., the great breach produced by the collapse of the walls 
in 1893, and the porta S. Giovanni, built by Gregory XIII. in 1575, 
we reach the porta Asinaria, which, although sunk deep in the 
ground, is one of the best preserved of Roman gates. Through it 
Belisarius entered on December 9th, 536, while the Gothic garrison 
was escaping by the porta Flaminia. We can follow the progress 
of the one and the retreat of the other army and the vicissitudes 
of the war by the way contemporary inscriptions are dated. In the 
lands belonging to or reconquered by the Byzantines the epitaphs 


of 536 are dated "post consulatum Belisarii"; in those occupied 
by the Goths, " iterum post consulatum PauHni iunioris." There 
was, however, in Rome an obscure man whose faith in the hbera- 
tion of the city from the barbaric rule at the hand of Belisarius was 
never shaken. His tombstone, now in the " Sacre grotte Vaticane," 
says that John, the book-keeper of the tavern of Isidorus, died on 
May 23rd, 536, CONSVLATV vilisari viri clarissimi. It was 
engraved six months before the retreat of the Goths. Ten years 
later the same gate was thrown open to Totila by the treachery 
of a body of Isaurians. 

There is a postern under the Lateran palace, and farther on, 
where the Marrana of Calixtus II. enters the city, a gate now closed, 
the classic name of which seems to be porta Metroni. An 
inscription inside it mentions the restoration of this stretch of 
the walls made in 11 57 by the S.P.Q.R., R(egnante) D(omino) 
N(ostro Friderico) S(emper) A(ugusto), The erasure of the name 
of Barbarossa must have taken place in 1167, when the city was 
besieged by the allied forces of the Tusculans and of the Empire. 

The next gate, the Latina, is beautifully preserved, but closed 
like the porta Metroni. There is the Christian monogram above 
the arch, between the mystic letters A and 12. 

Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. p. 148. Tommasetti, Giuseppe — 
La via Latina, Roma, 1886, p. 6. 

The porta S. Sebastiano, the Appia of Aurelian and Honorius, 
was rebuilt by the latter with the spoils of the temple of Mars 
" extra muros." I am sure that if the blocks of marble could be 
examined from the inside of the two bastions, they would all be 
found sculptured or engraved like those of the porta del Popolo of 
Sixtus IV. On the right post of the gate, and concealed by the 
wooden folding frame, is engraved the figure of an angel, with the 
inscription : " In the year of our Lord 1327, xi. indiction, Sept. 29, 
in the feast of S. Michael, a foreign army (that of King Robert of 
Naples) tried to force its way into the city, but was repulsed by 
the people of Rome led by Jacopo de' Ponziani." 

Marucchi, Orazio — Silloge di alcune iscrizioni, etc., p. 100, n. 47. 

On the right of the porta S. Sebastiano opens one of the 
posterns used only in jubilee years, and walled up since the 
Napoleonic times. Others are to be seen on the side of each gate 
leading to great places of pilgrimage, like the Salaria {Forma 
Urbis^ pi. iii.), the Tiburtina, and the Ostiensis. After the tenth 
tower there is a fine specimen of brickwork of the time of the 



Antonines — a door flanked by half columns of the Corinthian 

order, with finely-cut capitals and frieze. It does not belong to a 
tomb, as Nibby and others have suggested, but to a private villa 


discovered at the beginning of this century in the vigna Volpi, 
within the walls. 

The bastione del Sangallo, a few steps farther on, carefully kept 
in repair up to 1870, is now abandoned to its fate, and its brick 
facing is spoilt by vegetation which almost hides it from view. 
Huelsen has discovered in the UJizi the original design of Antonio 
da Sangallo, which shows the portion of the wall destroyed by Paul 
III. to make room for this bulwark, which was 400 metres long, 
with nine towers and one gate. The gate is undoubtedly the 
Ardeatina, on the subject of which consult — 

Nibby, Antonio — Dintorni di Roma, vol. ill. p. 560. De Rossi, Gio. 
Battista — Rona sotterranea, vol. ii. p. 8. Jordan, Heinrich — Topographic, 
vol. i. pp. 233, 368. Tominasetti, Giuseppe — Archivio Societd sforia pafria, 
1879, p. 385; 1880, p. 135. Huelsen, Christian — MittheiL, 1894, P- 320, 
pi. 9. 

The porta Ostiensis, now di S. Paolo, the last on the left bank, 
dates from the time of Honorius, its level being nearly 4 metres 
higher than that of the pyramid of Cestius. The treacherous 
Isaurians threw it open to the Goths in 549. King Ladislas 
entered it in 1407, and caused it to be walled up, but the Romans 
regained possession of it in 14 10. 

The walls did not end at their junction with the Tiber, but 


turned inwards following the left bank for 780 metres, until they 
met with those of the opposite shore. There were two great towers 


to protect the entrance to Rome by water, a chain being drawn 
at night between them. The towers are represented in the above 
sketch by Van der Aa (Fig. 33). 

The walls on the transtiberine side, still perfect in the sixteenth 
century, have now disappeared, except for a short space on either 
side of the porta Septimiana. There were three gates : the 
Portuensis, on the road to the portus Augusti ; the Aurelia, on the 
top of the Janiculum ; and the Septimiana, on the road towards 
the Vatican district. 

The Portuensis stood 453 metres in front of the present one, 
built in 1644 by Innocent X. Its site is indicated in Nolli's plan. 
It had a double archway, and on the frieze above was engraved 
the inscription of Honorius {Corpus^ vi. 11 90). The Aurelia had 
changed its classic name into that of S. Pancratius since the time of 
Procopius. Urban VIII. rebuilt it in 1644, and Pius IX. after the 
French bombardment of 1849. The Septimiana was reduced to 
its present state by Alexander VI. in 1498. 

XXII. Walls of Leo IV., Leopolis, Johannipolis, 
Laurentiopolis. — The construction of the walls of Leo IV. for 
the defence of the Vatican suburb and of the basilica of S. Peter is 
a consequence of the first Saracenic invasions. From Palermo 
and cape Lilybaeum, which had already been named Mars-allah 
(Marsala, the Harbour of God), the fleet of the Infidels sailed for 
the bay of Naples in 845, and after a long stay at Misenum, 
advanced towards the mouth of the Tiber in 846. The feeble 
garrison of Gregoriopolis (Ostia, recalled to life and fortified by 
Gregory IV.) was easily overcome, and the barbarians were pre- 
vented from taking possession of Rome rather by the strength 
of its walls than by the valour of its defenders. 

To revenge themselves for their repulse, the Saracens wrecked 
the two suburban churches of S. Peter and S. Paul, and carried 
away the inestimable treasures which the faithful had accumulated 
in the course of centuries over the tombs of the Apostles. The 
sight of the burning ruins caused the death of pope Sergius II., 
and the panic-stricken citizens elected Leo IV. as his successor. 

A curious discovery was made some years ago by signor 
Pietro Rocchi in connection with one of these Saracenic inroads. 
While excavating the remains of a temple in the farm of La 
Valchetta, six miles below Rome on the road to Ostia, he dis- 
covered traces of one of their camps, consisting mainly of daggers 
and poniards with curved blades of oriental make. The Saracens 



had overthrown the temple, but columns, frieze, and capitals 
were found lying in situ, together with a statue of Bacchus in 
Pentelic marble. The statue, slightly restored by Fabi-Altini, 
adorned the studio of the late Mr. W. W. Story in 1892. 

Leo IV. lost no time in relieving the fortunes of Rome : 
he made an alliance with Gaeta, Amalfi, and Naples, organised 
a fleet, and taking the command of the allied forces, attacked 
the infidels at Ostia, near the mouth of the Tiber, and gained a 
complete victory over them.i 

To prevent, however, the repetition of the same occurrence, 
the pope determined to surround S. Peter's and the Borgo with 
a fortified enclosure, the remains of which are still to be seen in 
the gardens of the Vatican and in the so-called Corridojo di 

The study of this work of mediaeval military engineering is 
instructive, and shows how carefully Leo IV. tried to imitate 
the structure of the Aurelian walls. For those who have not the 
opportunity of examining the Leonine walls in the gardens of the 
Vatican — where the best-preserved portion, including two round- 
towers, is to be seen — the most favourable point of observation 
is the courtyard adjoining the church of S. Angelo dei Corridori. 
The wall is 12 feet thick, and has, or rather had, a double 
gallery — one in the thickness of the wall, supported by open 
arcades on the inward side, and one on the top, level with the 
battlements. The lower gallery was afterwards transformed into 
a passage, II Corridojo di Castello, connecting the palace of the 
Vatican with the fortress of S. Angelo. Many popes and 
cardinals have escaped either from death or from servitude by 
means of this corridor, one of the leading historical events in con- 
nection with it being the flight of pope Clement VII. from the 
hordes of Charles V. led by the Constable de Bourbon. 

The length of the wall is about 3000 metres ; the height varies 
from 15 to 22 metres ; the most exposed angles are protected by 
round-towers, two of which are still in existence, and form a con- 
spicuous landmark of the Vatican landscape. The work does credit 
to Leo IV., considering the poverty of the means at his disposal. 
Two inscriptions in the arch which spans the via di porta 
Angelica give important details of the scheme adopted to obtain 
speedy work and cheap labour. 

1 This naval battle has been described by Guglielmotti in chap. xi. of the 
Storia della marina pontificia, and illustrated by Raphael in fresco No. IV. of 
the Stanza dell' Incendio di Borgo, 



The first says : " In the time of our Lord the pope Leo IV., 
the militia Saltisina has built these two towers and the inter- 
mediate wall (pagina)." The other, likewise : " In the time of 
our Lord the pope Leo IV., the militia Capracornm. has built this 
tower and the wall which connects it with the next." It appears 
from these inscriptions that the citizens of Rome being unequal to 



the task of completing the fortification in the required time, the 
colonists of the domiis cidtae (fortified farms of the Campagna) were 
called upon to take a share in the work. Each section of the walls 
was assigned to a company of soldier- workmen ; and here we find 
the mention of two : the company from Capracorum, that is to say 
from Veii (I sola Farnese), whose silent ruins had been recalled to 
life by Hadrian I. ; and the company from Saltisina, a colony on 
the road to Ardea, fifteen miles from Rome. Both parties declare 


that they have finished their special part of the construction 
under the direction of a certain Agatho, who seems to have been 
the designer and chief engineer of the walls. The new city was 
solemnly styled Civitas Leoniana, and tables inscribed with 
its name fixed on each gate. 

Other records of this work have been collected by de Rossi 
in his memoir entitled " Le prime raccolte di antiche iscrizioni " 
{Giornale arcadico, 1850). See also Inscriptioiies chrisiianae 
Urbis Ro7nae, vol. ii. pp. 324-326. 

There w^ere three gates and two posterns in Leopolis. The 
first, called porta S. Petri, opened on the Aelian bridge under 
the bastions of the Castle (S. Angelo). The second, called 
posterula S. Angeli, corresponds approximately with the present 
porta Castello. The third, called Sancti Peregrini (near the 
Angelica of Pius IV.), opened under the pope's residence towards 
the via Triumphalis. The fourth, porta in Turrione, corresponds 
with the porta Cavalleggeri of the present day. The fifth, named 
posterula Saxonum, was transformed by A. da Sangallo into the 
monumental porta di Santo Spirito. 

JOHANNIPOLIS. — John VIII. in 880 did for S. Paul's what 
Leo IV. had done for S. Peter's, with this difference, that while the 
Vatican basilica and the Borgo Vecchio were included in the city, 
the basilica Ostiensis remained a detached fort, communicating 
with the city by means of a portico over a mile long. We must 
acknowledge that the Romans did not show the same zeal and 
reverence towards the two Apostles. S. Paul's tomb was allowed 
to be profaned and to remain abandoned for over ten years, until 
the pontificate of Benedict III. (855-858), who " sepulchrum 
quod a Sarracenis destructum fuerat, perornavit." The fortifica- 
tions were begun only in or about 880, and consisted of walls 
and towers, like those of Borghetto, Castel Savello, etc., including 
a considerable space of ground on either side of the road to 
Ostia, and on the left bank of the Tiber. An inscription in 
seven distichs, above the gate facing Rome, contained the follow- 
ing words : — 


The fortress was of considerable strength, as we can argue 
from the vigorous defence which Stefano Corsi made in it against 
pope Paschal II. in 1099. A document of 1074 speaks of the 
castelhcm S. Pauli quod vocatiir lohannipolis as still in good 


condition ; but the so-called Anonymus Magliabecchianus, who 
wrote between 1410 and 141 5, says that it had disappeared 
long before his time. I have gone over the ground covered 
by Johannipolis many times, without finding a trace of the 
fortifications, except perhaps on the river- side, where I saw 
in 1890 ruins of what appeared to be a landing-stage. 

Literature. — Muratori — A?itiqq. med. aevi, vol. ii. diss. xxvi. p. 403. De 
Rossi, Gio. Battista — Inscr. christ. Urbis Romae, vol. ii. p. 326. Lanciani, 
Rodolfo — Leopolis and lohamiipolis, the Esquiline, June 1892. Duchesne, 
Louis — Libe?- pontificalis , vol. ii. p. 298. Tommasetti, Giuseppe — Archivio 
storia patria, a. 1896, fasc. i. 

Laurentiopolis. — A second detached fort was built about 
the same time for the protection of the basilica of S. Lorenzo 
fuori le Mura, but no historical document mentions the fact. 
S. Lawrence was held by the Romans almost in the same 
veneration as the two Apostles, and a portico was built for the 


convenience of pilgrims from the porta Tiburtina to his grave, 
exactly like those which led from the Aelian bridge to S. Peter's 
and from the porta Ostiensis to S. Paul's. A document of 
the time of Urban VI H. (1623-44), discovered by Armellini, 
says : " There are yet considerable remains of the wall which 
once surrounded the basihca of S. Lorenzo like a castle ; they 


are better preserved on the side of the via Tiburtina." Laurentio- 
poHs has now completely disappeared, but I am able to reproduce 
here a sketch of its fortifications drawn about 1534 by Martin 

XXIII. The Fortifications of Paul III., Pius IV., and 
Urban VIII. — The horrors which Rome suffered at the time of 
the Sacco del Borbone in 1527, were still fresh in the memories 
of the Court and of the population when cardinal Farnese was 
elected pope with the title of Paul III. One of the first thoughts 
of this great and generous man was to secure the city from 
a repetition of the occurrence, and Antonio da Sangallo was 
commissioned to draw up a plan for the fortifications. The 
survey he made of the ground and the sketches of his plan of 
defence are preserved in the UJizi at Florence {Disegni 301, 
1 01 5, 1 01 9, 1 43 I, I 5 14, etc.) These drawings show his pro- 
posal to reduce the circuit of the walls (on the left bank) by 
one -third at least, enclosing at the same time in the line of 
defences the Borgo vaticano, which was very inefficiently pro- 
tected by the crumbling walls of Leo IV. Bastions with double 
wings were to be raised at intervals of 500 metres, the centres 
of defence being the castle of S. Angelo for the right bank 
and the Lateran for the left. 

The works were begun at once with great determination, but, 
as time passed and the recollections of Bourbon's atrocities faded 
quietly away, they were given up altogether. There remain as 
specimens of Antonio da Sangallo's engineering skill — (i) the 
bastione di Belvedere ; (2) the bastion of the Priorato or Aven- 
tino ; (3) the bastion of the vigna Cavalieri or Antoni(ni)ano ; 
(4) the foundations of a third bastion under S. Saba. Many 
plans of Rome of the time of Paul IV. give the whole system 
of defences as finished ; others represent the earthworks thrown 
up in haste at the approach of the duke of Alva. The 
best of all was engraved in 1557 by Lafreri, under the title: 
" Recens . . . topographia cum vallis, fossis, et aggeribus 
caeterisque quae ad hostium impediend(as) irruptiones per 
universum urb(is) ambitum . . . fieri curavit Paul(us) III I. 
dum bello parthenop(eio) premeretur." Pius IV. fortified the 
Borgo Nuovo in 1562. 

Urban VIII., fearing the hostile action of the duke of Parma, 
began in 1642 a new line of walls on the ridge of the Janiculum, 
which are still kept in repair for military purposes. They start 



from the porta Turrionis of Leo IV. (Cavalleggeri), and reach 
the Tiber at Ripa grande. Among the works of art discovered in 
building these bastions, Bartoh mentions " many statues, one of 
which, of bronze, is now in the Barberini palace, a bisellium or 
magistrate's chair of bronze inlaid with silver, and several objects 
of curiosity," The bronze statue represents Septimius Severus, 
and was probably set up in the garden of his son Septimius Geta. 
It was lately in the possession of prince Sciarra, and must have 


shared the fate of the rest of his valuable collections. Urban 
VIII. built but one gate, the porta S. Pancrazio, ruined by 
the French guns in 1849. The above scarce engraving of 
the time shows the entry of the invaders on July 4th of that 

References. — De Marchi, Vincenzo — Architettura militare, p. 2 A, ed. 
1590. Maggi — Forfi/icazio?ie,V&\\e2\^., 1564, p. 115. Sca.mozz\, A re hi tettiira 
laiiversale, Venezia, 1615, p. 108. Guglielniotti, Alberto — Storia delle 
forti/icasiotii della spiaggia romana, viii. 2, p. 320. Borgatti, Mario — l.e 
rrrnra dl Roma, in Rivista di Artiglieria e Genio, 1890, p. 391. Huelsen, 
C\\v\?>i\i\\\—Mitfhe7/i(ngen, 1894, p. 328. 


XXIV. Modern Fortifications. — Eighteen outlying forts 
and batteries have been raised by the Italian Government for 
the protection of the capital of the kingdom against a coup de 
viaiii from the sea. They follow each other in this order, going 
from left to right: I. Monte Aiiteinne^ II. Batteria Nome7iia7ia^ 
III. Pratalata^ IV. Tibicrtino^ V. Pre?iestt7to, VI. Tusctilano, VII. 
Porta Furba^ VIII. Appia PigJiattelli^ IX. Appia A?itica, X. 
Ardeatmo, XI. Ostiense^ XII. Portuense^ XIII. Bravetta (Villa 
Troiani), XIV. Aurelia A?ttica, XV. Boccea on the via Cornelia, 
XVI. Casal Braschi on the via Traiana, XVII. Trioufale^ XVIII. 
Mo7ite Mario. No objects or ruins of archaeological interest have 
been discovered in building forts numbers III, V, VIII, XVI, and 
XVII ; the foundation of the others has given occasion to valuable 
finds. They are described most carefully in the Notizie degli Scavi 
from 1876 to 1884. 

XXV. The Fourteen Regions of Augustus. — Whoever 
undertakes to separate into a certain number of wards a city, 
not new or young, but many centuries old, and already divided 
roughly by the undulations of the ground, by popular habits, by 
relationship of neighbourhood, must, if he wants to succeed, pay 
attention to all these elements. Augustus, in attempting this 
reform between 10 and 4 B.C., must have felt embarrassed in 
the selection of fundamental lines, because the city had no cardo 
or decu77ia7tiiSy and its plan was " magis occupatae urbis quam 
divisae similis." He selected as a cardo or meridian a Hne 
which started from the banks of the Almo, beyond the first 
milestone of the Appian way, followed northwards this way to 
the porta Capena, and thence the east side of the Circus 
maximus (via de' Cerchi), the vicus Tuscus (di S. Teodoro), 
the clivus Argentarius (di Marforio), and the via Flaminia (Corso) 
to the first milestone. On this basis (ancient maps and geodetic 
operations in general started from the south instead of the north) 
he divided the ground on the left bank of the river into thirteen 
wards or regio7tes^ and made the fourteenth out of the Trastevere. 
The elements of the division are — ( i ) the meridian line just alluded 
to ; (2) the Palatine hill, selected as a centre ; (3) the line of the 
Servian walls ; (4) the main thoroughfares leading from the centre 
of the city to the gates of Servius. However, ^s in the Augustan 
age the city had extended far beyond the line of the Servian walls, 
and populous suburbs had sprung up along the main consular 
roads, six regions were established "extra muros " (I, V, VII, IX, 



XII, XIV), eight "intra muros " (II, III, IV, VI, VIII, X, XI, 
XIII).i This simple and practical operation is illustrated by the 
following sketch-map. 

In Constantine's time the fourteen regions bore the names of 
I. Porta Capena, II. Caelimontium, III. Isis et Serapis, IV. 
Templum Pacis, V. Esquiliae, VI. Alta Semita, VII. Via Lata, 




P. Os tiense /P. Trigemina 

P. Tiburtina 
P. Viminale 


VIII. Forum Romanum, IX. Circus Flaminius, X. Palatium, XI. 
Circus Maximus, XII. Piscina Publica, XIII. Aventinus, XIV. 
Transtiberim. Some of these names cannot be original, because 
at the time of Augustus there was no temple of Isis and Serapis 
on the Oppian, no temple of Peace near the Carinae, and probably 

^ Claudius afterwards (A. D. 47) doubled the extent of the thirteenth, taking 
in the plains of Testaccio, with their quays, wharves, arsenals, granaries, ware- 
houses, sheds, corn-exchanges, etc. 



no via Lata at the foot of the Quirinal. The original wards were 
probably distinguished by a number from I to XIV, counted from 
right to left. 

We have two documents on the statistics of each region, the 
Notitia and the Curiosum^ about which the reader may consult 
Preller's Regione?t, mentioned below, and Jordan, Topographie^ 
vol. ii. (Untersuchungen iiber die Beschreibung der XIV Regionen), 
pp. 1-3 1 2 and pp. 539-582. 

Both documents are of the fourth century, and therefore their 
statistics cannot be made use of in speaking of the Augustan 
reform ; still they may help us in a great measure, because many 
regions bounded by fixed barriers, like the Tiber and the Servian 
walls, could not expand with the increase of the population like 
those " extra muros." Regions II, III, IV, VI, VIII, X, XI of the 
fourth century, fettered, since their first institution, by such im- 
movable boundaries, are essentially the same as in the first century. 
The fact which strikes us most forcibly in examining their statistics 
is the effort made by the surveying officers of Augustus to equalise 
the divisions. They adopted as an average measure for each ward 
a circuit of 12,000 to 12,500 feet (12,270), with the exception of 
the sixth, to which, for local reasons,^ was given a circuit of 
15,700 feet. The others agree so well that there are only 150 
feet of difference between the second and the third, 67 between 
the fourth and the eighth, 10 between the tenth and the eleventh, 
as shown in the following table : — 










































Not less remarkable is the uniformity in the number of tene- 
ment houses (insulae). The third and fourth regions have each 

^ The great projecting buttress of the Servian walls in the gardens of 


2757 insulae ; the difference between the sixth and the eighth is 
only ']'] ; between the third and the tenth 65. As far as palaces 
(domus) are concerned, it is obvious that the surveying officers 
could not even approximately assign an equal number to each ward, 
and therefore we find a difference of 86 between the maximum and 
minimum. In spite of that, the fourth, the tenth, and the eleventh 
have the same quantity (88-89) of palaces ; the second, sixth, and 
eighth almost the same (127-146). These statistics help us to de- 
termine which parts of the city were the favourite ones with the aris- 
tocracy. The sixth comes foremost with i palace to every 23 houses; 
last comes the third with i to 45. These results agree very well 
with the results of our excavations. However, all is not gold that 
glitters. The Curiosiim and the Notitia do not deserve the blind 
and implicit faith which has been placed in them by topographers, 
and we have reason to believe their statistics either incorrect or 
made so by the copyists. I quote one or two instances. We 
may perhaps be mistaken in attributing to the word domus the 
meaning of palace, and to the word insula the meaning of tenement 
house, and in this case their true significance remains to be found 
out.^ But if their meaning is certain,"^ how can we crowd into the 
Palatine hill 2692 tenement houses and 89 private palaces, when 
we know that the palaces of the Caesars alone occupied nine-tenths 
of its surface ? Again, we may believe to a certain extent that 
the geodetic experts of Augustus, turning their compass over and 
over again on the map of the city, could have found a circuit line 
of nearly equal length for each ward ; but how is it possible that 
they could have placed exactly 2757 tenement houses within the 
third and the fourth, and 2487 within the twelfth and the fourteenth, 
although these regions are so different in many other respects "i 
It is impossible, therefore, to accept the statistics, as has been 
done up to the present day, some of their inaccuracies being 
patent. They assign, for instance, to the tenth or Palatine region 
a circuit of 3418 metres (11,510 feet). I have measured it twice 
over in designing Sheets xxix. and xxxv. of my Forma Urbts, 

^ Referencesforinsu/aeanddomris. — Visconti, Pietro — AttiAccad. ArcheoL, 
vol. xiii. p. 254. Bianchini, Francesco — Colianbar. Liviae, p. 49. Marini, 
Gaetano — Ai~vaH, p. 399. Richter, Otto — Inszila, in Hermes, 1885, p. 91. 
Friedaender — Sitteiigeschichte Ro7ns, vol. i. p. 12. Eyssenhardt — Romisch 
imd Romanisch, p. 92. Pohlmann — Die Uebervolkertaig der antiken Gross- 
stddte. Leipzig, 1884. De Marchi, Attilio — Ricerche intorno alle insiilae. 
Milano, 1891. 

^ Cf. the decisive passage of Tacitus, Ann. xv. 41 : Domonini et insiilarnnt 
et templorum, quae amissa sunt, numerum inire baud promptum fuit. 



obtaining an average length of 2080. There is an exaggeration of 
1338 metres. 

A remarkable study has just been published on this question by 
Huelsen in Bttll. arch, com.^ 1 894, p. 312. According to his calcula- 
tions the Coliseum could accommodate only from 40,000 to 45,000 
seated spectators, the theatre of Marcellus from 9000 to 10,000, 
the Circus maximus about 150,000. These figures are very far 
from the 87,000 places (loca) which the catalogues attribute to 
the first, from the 17,580 given to the second, from the 385,000 
given to the third. I bring this chapter to a close with the 
statistics of the regions "extra muros " : — 






- Feet. 






- V. 
















I 2 , 000 














Comparing the two tables, we find that the aristocratic quarter 
par excelle7tce was the thirteenth (Aventine), with i palace in 1 9 
houses, followed closely by the ninth (Circus Flaminius), with 
I in 20. Last comes the third (Isis et Serapis), with i in 46. 
The patricians evidently preferred the quarters more distant from 
the centre. 

Literature. — Jordan, Heinrich — Topographic, vol. ii, p. 72. Preller, 
Ludwig — Die Regionen d. St. Rom. Jena, 1846. Henzen, Wilhelm — Corp?is 
Inscr. Lat., vol. vi. p. 86, ad n. 454. De Rossi, G. Battista — Piante di 
R. anieriori al sec. XVI, p. 39. Marquardt, Joachim — Staatsverwaltung, 
iii. pp. 204, 205. Gatti, Giuseppe — Bidl. arch, com., vol. xvi. p. 224. 
Lanciani, Rodolfo — Ricerche sidle XI V regioni : ibid., vol. xviii. p. 115. 

XXVI. The Population of Ancient Rome. — There 
is no instance in the history of the world of so rapid and 
magnificent a growth as that of Rome from its first founda- 
tion on the Palatine by a mere handful of shepherds. Whether 
by wisdom or by power or by valour, they were destined from the 
beginning to become the rulers of the world. And even now the 
civilised nations are governed by their laws, travel by their roads, 


and speak or understand their language. During the twenty- 
six centuries of its existence the' population of Rome has had 
much to suffer — changing customs, habits, opinions, forms of 
government, and religion. No other city has been besieged, 
taken, robbed, and burnt so often, and yet the vitality of the root 
could never be impaired. Even in the worst period of the 
Middle Ages, when temporarily dethroned by Avignon, Rome 
and its name never lost their influence and prestige, but as in 
the first centuries of the Republic the reality was in advance of 
reputation, so at the end of the Middle Ages reputation was 
ahead of true facts. 

Roman history is represented with astonishing precision by 
the fluctuations in the number of its inhabitants, because men 
rush where they can find food, work, luxury, health, power, fame, 
security, and fly when such advantages are difficult or impossible 
to obtain. Political power alone, without the comforts of Hfe, 
is not sufficient to stimulate immigration into a city : Rome 
was at its lowest under the most powerful of mediaeval popes, 
Innocent III. 

Three attempts have been made lately to estimate the number 
of the inhabitants of ancient Rome : one by Pietro Castiglione, 
Delia popolazione di Roma dalP origine si?to ai nostri tempi 
(Monografia di Roma, vol. ii. p. 187); the second by myself, 
in a memoir on the Vice7ide edilisie di Roma antica^ published in 
the same work, vol. i. p. i ; the third by prof Julius Beloch, 
Ex/rait du Btdletiii de Plnstitut international de Statistiqiie^ 
Rome, Botta, 1886. 

The question is worth investigation, on account of the amazing 
estimates made by older writers, Lipsius mentions 4,000,000, 
Vossius 14,000,000! Gibbon gives the city 1,200,000 souls at 
the time of Constantine, and although his calculations rest on 
no scientific basis, yet his exquisite historical intuition made him 
strike almost the right figure. Bunsen's standard measure — 
the number of those to whom grain was gratuitously distributed 
under Augustus — is the right one, but he is greatly mistaken in 
reckoning the number of slaves. At all events his statement — 
1,300,000 as a minimum, 2,000,000 as a maximum — has been 
accepted by German writers — by Nietersheim (1,500,000), 
Marquardt (1,600,000), Friedlander (1,000,000 for the first, 
2,000,000 for the second century), and others. Again, those 
who have taken as a basis the area of the city enclosed by walls 
(nine million square metres), compared with the density of 


population in modern capitals, have fallen into the other extreme. 
Bureau de la Malle assigns to fourteen wards of the Imperial 
city a population of 562,000, Castiglione 584,000. The results 
attained by Beloch are expressed in the closing paragraph of his 
memoir as follows : — " Taking into consideration the number of 
those who had a right to the free distribution of grain at the 
beginning of the Empire, the population of Rome, of the Cam- 
pagna, and of some of the surrounding hills must have amounted 
to from 950,000 to 1,035,000 souls ; that of the city alone from 
760,000 to 920,000. Again, calculating the habitable space 
within the walls of Aurelian, we have found out for the city 
alone a population of from 800,000 to 850,000 souls. The 
approximation of these figures reached by different ways shows 
that we cannot stray very far from the truth if we adopt for 
Rome and the Campagna the number of about 1,000,000, for 
Rome enclosed by walls that of 800,000. However modest the 
number may seem, compared with former ideas, we must remember 
that it was never reached by a modern capital up to the beginning 
of the present century." 

From the end of the third century downwards the population 
diminished with appalling rapidity. Castiglione says that in 
335 B.C. it was reduced to 300,000, but his estimate is evidently 
too low. Pillage after pillage, barbarian inroads, famine, in- 
security, bad government or no government at all, earthquakes, 
and inundations did the rest ; and we are told that in the year 
1377, on the return of the popes from Avignon, there were only 
17,000 survivors in the ruinous waste. ^ Whether the figure be 
exact or not, these few men who held firm and faithful to their 
native soil deserve the gratitude of mankind. Without them, the 
site of Rome would now be pointed out to the inquiring stranger 
like that of Veii, of P^idenae, of Ostia, and of Tusculum. There are 
three works on Roman statistics of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries full of new and interesting information. 

Armellini, Mariano — Un censiniento della citta di Roma sotto il pontijicato 
di Leone X. Roma, 1882, Gnoli, Domenico — Descriptio urbis, censiinento 
della popolazione di Roma avanti il sacco borbonico. Roma, 1894. Cerasoli, 
Francesco — Censinie7tto della popolazione di RotJta dalV an?io 1600 al 1739. 
Roma, 1 89 1. 

Here are a few facts. In pope Leo X.'s time the number of 
the cortesane was equal to about one-third of the total of single 

^ Compare Gnoli, T3omenico — Descriptio urbis Rome, 1894. 



women or widows within the walls of the city. Their number 
had diminished to 604 in 1600, to rise up again steadily until 
the maximum of 1295 is reached in 1639. A century later, 
in 1739, they were reduced to ioo(?). In 1527, the population 
being 55,035, some of the cardinals had the following retinue of 
servants and officers {corte cardinalizia) : Farnese, 306 persons ; 
Cesarini, 275; Orsini, 200 ; del Monte, 200 ; and so on in decreasing 
numbers, until we reach the figure of 60 for cardinal Numalio, 
and 45 for de Vio. 

In 1639, in a population of 114,256 souls, there were 24 
bishops, 1786 priests, 3539 monks, 2496 nuns, 2180 famigliari 
of cardinals — a clerical nucleus over 10,000 strong. There were 
975 registered beggars, 13 Moorish slaves. Of 88,144 persons 
capable of satisfying the Pascal precept, 77,471 took the holy 
communion. There were only 238 inmates of public prisons. 

At the beginning of this century the population numbered 
153,004 souls. The French invasions and the Napoleonic wars 
brought a decline, which culminated in 181 2 with 117,882 in- 
habitants. But the ascending movement began again with the 
Peace of Vienna, and has continued uninterruptedly to the present 
day. When Rome became the capital of Italy in 1^80, there 
were 226,022 inhabitants ; they have doubled since, as shown by 
this table : — 






Excess of 




25 per 1000 






26 ,, 






28 ,, 






26 ,. 






25 -. 












23 .. 






* Including the Campagna and the floating population. 

XXVII. The Map of Rome engraved on Marble under 
Severus and Caracalla. — Under the pontificate of Pius IV. 
(1559-65), while the architect Giovanni Antonio Dosio da San 
Geminiano was excavating at the foot of the back wall of the church 
of SS. Cosma e Damiano, he found ninety-two pieces of marble 


slabs, upon which was engraved the map of the city, restored and 
rebuilt by Severus and Caracalla after the fire of Commodus. A 
few of the fragments were still fixed against the wall (Fea, MisccU., 
lii. n. a), but the greater part had fallen on the pavement of the 
forum Pacis, each slab being broken into many pieces. Had the 
discoverer taken care to collect them carefully, and to join the 
fragments of each slab there and then, the value of the discovery 
would have been inestimable ; but we have reason to believe that 
they were thrown negligently into baskets and removed to the palace 
of cardinal Alessandro Farnese. Here the pieces were sorted 
even more negligently, the larger and more valuable were exhibited 
in the museum, the smaller bits were thrown away in the cellars 
of the palace. Some years later a mason made use of them 
in restoring the wall of the garden on the river-side. Many 
of them were rediscovered in 1888 when that garden wall was 
demolished to make room for the Tiber embankment. (See Notisie 
degli Sc(ivi\ 1888, pp. 391, 437, 569.) Pope Benedict XI\\, to 
whose liberality the Capitoline museum owes so many treasures, 
asked king Charles III. of Naples, the heir to the Farnese estate, 
to present the Forma Urbis to the city. The request was complied 
with, and the fragments were arranged in a somewhat disorderly 
manner on each side of the staircase of the museum. The star 
which marks some of the pieces tells another tale in the odyssey 
of the precious relics : those pieces, having been lost in the 
journey from the Farnese palace to the Capitol, were reproduced 
from original drawings in Cod. vatic. 3839. 

In the year 1867 Augusto Castellani and Effisio Tocco tried 
fresh excavations in the garden of SS. Cosma e Damiano, and 
they were rewarded by the find of the celebrated piece containing 
the plan of the porticus Liviae (Fig. 38). In 1882 another piece, 
containing the plan of the aIcus \^estae, was discovered under 
my supervision ; a third of no importance in 1884. 

Lastly, in 1 890 the State undertook to make a last and exhaustive 
search at the foot of the wall of the templum Sacrae Urbis, which 
led to no result, for reasons which it would be out of place to 
discuss. The origin of the plan may be briefly described as 
follows : — 

The last census of Rome, taken in strict accordance with the 
old rules, was begun by \'espasian in A.D. 'j'}^., and finished two 
years later. The Flavian dynasty, to use the expression of 
Suetonius, had found the capital of the Empire " deformis veteribus 
incendiis [the fire of Xero] atque ruinis [the disasters caused by the 



faction of Vitellius]." Vespasian reorganised the city from the 


material as well as from an administrative point of view : the lands 
usurped by Nero for his Golden House were given back to the 



people ; the burnt quarters rebuilt, on a new piano regolatore j the 
limits of the metropolitan district enlarged ; public property on 
the line of the Tiber, of the aqueducts, of the pomerium was 
redeemed from the encroachments of private individuals ; a new 
map of the city was drawn, and the cadastre of public and private 
property revised. These documents were deposited in a fireproof 
building, an oblong hall 42 metres long, 25 metres wide, constructed 
expressly on the west side of the forum Pacis, between it and the 
Sacra via. On the epistyle, above the main entrance, the follow- 
ing words were engraved : " [This building has been raised by] 
Vespasian in his eighth consulship [a.d. 78]." The map of the 
city, drawn in accordance with the last official survey and the 
results of the census, was exhibited on the side of the hall facing 
the forum of Peace. We do not know whether it was simply 
drawn in colours on plaster, like the celebrated maps of Agrippa 
in the portico of Vipsania Polla, or engraved on marble. 

The city was again half destroyed by fire in the year 191, 
under Commodus, the centre of the conflagration being precisely 
the neighbourhood of these archives. The house of the Vestals, 
the jewellers' shops on the Sacra via, the Imperial warehouses 
for Eastern spices (Jiorrea piperatarta\ and the forum and 
temple of Peace were levelled to the ground. The archives, 
surrounded by this mighty blaze on every side, must have been 
turned into an oven in spite of their fireproof enclosure, their bronze 
roof melted, their contents injured by heat or by water. 

Septimius Severus and his son Caracalla undertook, with the 
reconstruction of the city, the re-establishment of the archives of 
the cadastre J and, in memory of their work (which was begun in 
A.D. 193 and completed in 211), they caused a new and revised 
edition of the plan of the city to be engraved in marble and exhibited 
in the same place, that is to say, on the front of the building facing 
the forum of Peace. The building itself, magnificently restored 
and decorated in " opus sectile " (a kind of Florentine mosaic), 
was dedicated under the name of templiun sacrae Urbis. It exists 
still in a good state of preservation, thanks to pope Felix IV., 
Avho in 526 turned it into a church, under the invocation of SS. 
Cosma e Daniiano. The wall on the marble facing of which 
the plan of Rome was engraved measures 22 metres in length, 
1 5 metres in height, and is remarkably well preserved. There 
is a good drawing of it in Jordan's Forma Urbis Roi>uu\ plate 
xxxi. fig. I. 

The orientation or meridian line of the plan seems to have been 


directed from the south-west to the north-east. The scale, save a 
few exceptions, seems to be i : 250. 

References. — Gamucci, Bernardo — Antichita di Roma, eel. 1580, p. 36. 

Bellori, Pietro — Fragm. vestigii U. R. Rome, 1673 (2nd edition 1773). 

Tocco, Efifisio — Annul, hist., 1867, p. 409. Trendelenburg — Annul. Inst., 

1872, p. 75. Jordan, Heinrich — Forma Urbis Romae Regiontim XIJ'. 

Berlin, Weidmann, 1874. Elter, Anton — De Forma U. R. deque orbis antiqui 
facie. Bonnae, 1891. Huelsen, Christian — Mittheil. des Archaeol. Instituts, 

1889, p. 79; and B//11. arch, com., 1893, p. 130. Richter, Otto — Gottingen 
gelerten Anzeigen, 1892, p. 130 ; and Topographie der Stadt Rom (1889), p, 3. 

Piranesi, Gio. Battista — Antichita ro7nane, vol. i. tav. 2-6. 

XXVIII. The Burial of Rome. — The question most often 
asked by persons not well acquainted with the details of the 
downfall of Imperial Rome is, " How came the city to be buried 
under a bed of earth to a depth which ranges from 5 to 65 feet?" 
The question is more easily put than answered. The accumulation 
of modern soil depends upon so many causes, great and small, that 
it is very difficult to bring them all together and set them before 
the student in the proper light. 

To begin with, I will relate a personal experience which took 
place in 1883-84, during the excavations made by my late 
friend Luigi Boccanera in the villa of Q. Voconius Pollio at Marino, 
the ancient Castrimoenium. We had been wishing for years to 
try an excavation in virgin soil, where no one should have dis- 
turbed the strata of the ruins corresponding to the pages of 
history. Here all chances were in our favour, because the villa 
Voconiana, so rich in works of art, had not been destroyed by fire, 
or by earthquake, or by the violence of man, but had been left to 
decay by itself, piece by piece and atom by atom. The palace, 
moreover, contained but one floor, the ground-floor, no suspicion 
of staircases leading to upper storeys having been found anywhere. 
Now, as the position of the building was such that the strata of 
its ruins could not have been altered by the action of water or 
atmospheric forces, and the volume of the same ruins could not 
have been either augmented or diminished, it was easy to calculate, 
with almost mathematical precision, what is the material product 
of the crumbling of a Roman house. 

The results of the careful calculation are these. A noble 
Roman house, one storey high, produces a stratum of loose material 
and rubbish i metre, 85 centimetres high ; or, in other words, a 
building about 10 metres high, crumbling down under the circum- 
stances which caused the ruin of the villa of Voconius Pollio, 
produces 1-85 cubic metres for each square metre of surface. 


Now if a building of very modest proportions has created such 
a volume of ruins, it is easy to imagine what must have been the 
results of the destruction of the private and public monuments of 
ancient Rome. 

At the beginning of the fourth century after Christ, Rome, as we 
have just seen, contained 46,602 tenement houses, 1^90 palaces, 
not to speak of a thousand public buildings like thermae, temples, 
basilicas, theatres, amphitheatres, circuses, porticoes, etc. The height 
of these edifices was always considerable, sometimes excessive. 
Strabo mentions a law made by Augustus against the raising of 
private houses above 70 feet. Trajan tried to reduce the maximum 
to 60 feet. Tertullian describes the house of a Felicles as reaching 
the sky. Houses built in the plain of the Circus Flaminius against 
the Capitoline hill reached the platform of the temple of Jupiter, 
and enabled the followers of Vespasian to take the place by storm 
from the Vitellians. The palace of Septimius Severus at the 
Septizonium towered fully 70 metres above the arena of the Circus 
maximus ; the pediment of the temple of the Sun rose 80 metres 
above the Campus Martins. Considering that hardly the ten- 
thousandth portion of this mass of buildings has ^escaped destruc- 
tion, all the rest having crumbled into dust and rubbish, we cannot 
wonder that ancient Rome should now lie buried so deep. If 
the forum of Trajan, excavated by Pius VII. in the heart of the 
modern city, was not cleaned or swept once a week, as is the case 
now, at the end of each year it would be covered by an inch of 
dust, by one hundred inches at the end of a century ; and I speak 
of matter accumulated there simply by the action of rain and 
wind. But if the forum of Trajan should be selected by the living 
generation as a receptacle for the daily refuse of the city, its 
disappearance would take place in a few years ; and this has 
been the case with the forum Romanum, the Coliseum, the forum 
Augustum, the Palatine, the vicus Patricius, and so on. At all 
events, the increase of the Roman soil begins with the age of the 
Tarquins, and with the drainage and filling up of the Velabra. 
An inscription discovered at the first milestone of the Appian way 
(Corpus^ vol. vi. n. 1270) describes how the steep incline leading 
from the river Almo to the temple of Mars had been made easy 
by the removal of large masses of earth. The ruins of the build- 
ings destroyed by the great fire described by Livy (xxiv. 47) were 
levelled on the spot, and the pavement of the forum Boarium and 
of the surrounding streets at once raised several feet. Horace 
{Sat. i. 8 ; v. 15) describes how Augustus and Maecenas caused the 


burial-grounds of the Esquiline to be covered with great masses of 
earth, and a public park laid out on their site, While building in 


1877 the sewer of the Coliseum along the via di S. Gregorio, 
we discovered the city of the time of Nero buried under the 
ruins of the fire of A.D. 65. Here also the level of the streets was 


raised at once several feet. Frontinus (i. i8) says that the seven 
hills had gained in altitude : " colles excreverunt rudere." 

The 700,000 or 800,000 cubic metres of earth and rock 
removed by Trajan to make room for his forum were laid over 
the public cemetery between the via Pinciana and the via Salaria 
(Salaria vetus and nova). The baths of Trajan and Titus are 
founded on the remains of the Golden House of Nero ; the baths 
of Caracalla on the remains of many edifices, of which the above 
engraving (Fig. 39) represents a small section. 

Diocletian began the construction of his own thermae by 
demolishing two temples and many other public or private build- 
ings to the extent of 136,000 square metres. The products 
of the demolition were heaped up in a hillock 20 metres high in 
the neighbourhood of the present railway station. The threshold 
of the arch built by Augustus over the via Tiburtina for the 
transit of the Marcia, Tepula, and Julia lies 3 metres below the 
threshold of the gate (porta S. Lorenzo) built side by side by 
Arcadius and Honorius in 402 (Fig. 31). These figures give us 
a yearly average of 7^ millimetres of rise for the surrounding 
district, during the 406 years which elapsed between Augustus 
and Honorius. The inscriptions engraved on the same gate of 
S. Lorenzo describe, among the works undertaken by the said 
Honorius toward the strengthening of the fortifications of Rome, 
the removal of the rubbish accumulated along the line of the walls 
(egestis immensis rvderibvs, p. 'J'^). 

I have sometimes discovered four different buildings lying one 
under the other. The mediaeval church of S. Clement was built 
in 1099 by Paschal \\. above the remains of another basilica built 
seven and a half centuries earlier. This latter rests upon the 
walls of a noble patrician house of the second century after Christ, 
under which the remains of an unknown Republican building are 
to be seen. 

When the new via Nazionale was cut in 1877 across the Aldo- 
brandini and Rospigliosi gardens, on the Quirinal hill, we met, 
first, with the remains of the baths of Constantine ; then with the 
remains of the house of Claudius Claudianus ; thirdly, with the 
house of Avidius Quietus ; and lastly, with some constructions of 
early reticulated work. 

These proofs, which I have quoted at random from monuments 
and writers, show that before the fall of the Empire the ground rose 
in the same way on the hills and on the plains. However, after the 
barbarian invasions, twelve out of the fourteen quarters (regiones) 


of the city having been abandoned and turned into farms and 
orchards, the rise of the hills diminished and that of the valleys 
and plains increased at a prodigious rate : a fact which can be 
explained, to some extent, by the natural fall of materials from 
the heights, and by the action of atmospheric forces. The 
greatest difference between ancient and modern levels which I 
have yet ascertained in Rome is 72 feet. It was found in ex- 
cavating" the inner courtyard of the house of the Vestals at the foot 
of the Palatine hill. The foundations of the north-east corner 
of the new Treasury buildings were sunk in 1874 to a depth 
of 41 feet before the stratum of debris was passed through. 
The foundations of the house, which forms the corner of the 
via Cavour and the piazza dell' Esquilino, were sunk Hkewise 
to a depth of 53 feet. At that level the remains of some baths, 
built by Naeratius Cerialis, were discovered, with statues, busts, 
bronzes, inscriptions, etc. 

The rise of the hills after the fall of the Empire is absolutely 
artificial. I mean to say that if there was a rise in the level 
of the soil, it was the work of man, and as a consequence 
of the building of palaces, churches, and villas. I shall here 
quote a curious illustration of the theory I am trying to explain. 
The soil which covers (or rather covered) the northern half 
of the palace of the Caesars, and more especially the palaces 
of Germanicus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Domitian, has not 
been created wholly by the crumWing or destruction of those 
palaces, but is mostly soil removed from the low lands of the 
Campus Martins to the top of the Palatine hill by cardinal 
Alessandro Farnese, when digging the foundations for his palace 
and for the church of the Gesii. After remaining there for 
nearly three centuries, the great mass of material has again 
been removed, and carted away into the valley between the 
Aventine hill and the church of S. Balbina, in order that the 
remains of the Imperial buildings should be laid bare. The 
district stretching between the porta Pi'a and the porta Salaria 
has been lately raised to a considerable height with the soil 
extracted from the foundations of the Treasury buildings and of 
the royal Mews. Without quoting any more instances, I wish 
only to observe that, if these cases were not known, we could 
not explain the unexpected rise of the places above named, on 
the Quirinal and on the Aventine. 

When we consider that the archaeological stratum, the forma- 
tion of which I have tried to describe, is at least nine square miles 


in extent, we wonder how it has been possible to excavate, and 
search, and actually sift it since the Renaissance of classical 
studies. Yet this has actually been done. 

During my long experience of Roman excavations, and 
especially since the building of the new city began in 1871, 
about four square miles have been turned up. Leaving out of 
consideration works of art and objects of archaeological interest 
found scattered here and there in small secluded spots — mere 
crumbs fallen from the banqueting-tables of former excavators — 
I have found three places only of any considerable extent which 
had absolutely escaped investigation. 

The first is the district now occupied by the central railway 
station, on the border line between the Quirinal and Viminal 
hills, excavated between 1871 and 1872, It was occupied in 
classic times by a cluster of private houses built in the so-called 
Pompeian style. It seems that, being threatened by a conflagra- 
tion, their inhabitants had collected hurriedly all their valuables 
and most precious works of art, and heaped them up in confusion 
in a hall opening on a side street, which they considered as a 
comparatively safe place. The roof of the hall, however, caught 
fire, and in its fall carried down the walls in such a way as to 
roof over the heap of bronzes and marbles placed in the middle 
of the pavement. We discovered the place in February 1871, 
and were able to remove to the Capitoline museum the artistic 
bronze furniture of two or three Roman houses, the marketable 
value of which was calculated at about ;^6ooo. 

The second virgin spot was discovered on Christmas Eve, 
1874, near the south-west corner of the piazza Vittorio Emmanuele, 
on the site of the Horti Lamiani (gardens of Aelius Lamia), which 
had been incorporated by Caligula into the Imperial domain. 
During the previous days we had been excavating a portico, 
200 feet long, with a single line of fluted columns of giallo antico 
(yellow Numidian marble) resting on pedestals of gilded marble. 
The pavement of the portico was inlaid with oriental alabaster, 
and the walls covered with slabs of a certain kind of slate, inlaid 
with festoons and groups of birds and other delicate designs in 
gold-leaf. At the foot of the wall, but concealed from view, ran 
a water-pipe, with tiny jets, 2 feet distant one from the other, 
which were evidently used to keep the place cool in summer. 
At the northern extremity of the portico the floor sank into 
a kind of chasm, at the bottom of which we discovered, 
during that memorable eve, a bust of Commodus under the 


attributes of Hercules, the most elaborate piece of work which 
has been found in Rome in our time ; another bust of the same 
Emperor, of smaller size ; a statue of the muse Polyhymnia ; 
a statue of the muse Erato ; a statue of the Venus (Lamiana) ; 
two statues of Tritons ; a bust of Diana ; and several other works 
of art, such as legs, arms, and heads formerly set into bronze 
draperies, (See Book IV. § xxiv.) 

The third and last spot which we have been the first to 
investigate since the early Renaissance is the southern half of 
the house of the Vestals. However, as I have given a minute 
account of this charming discovery in chapter vi. of my A?tcie?it 
Rome^ it is needless to enlarge upon it here. 

I must mention two particulars which explain to some extent 
our success in bringing to light, almost daily, new monuments and 
works of art and curiosity. The first is, that the pioneers 
of archaeological research, that is to say the excavators who 
preceded us, have stopped in many cases at the wrong level. 
Finding mosaic and marble pavements, or pavements of streets 
and squares, they thought they had reached the end of their 
pursuit, and turned their energy in other directions. From what 
I have said about the superposition of Roman buildings, it is 
easy to see how wrong they were. Here also I must be allowed 
to quote a personal experience. In 1879, when the new boulevard 
connecting the piazza Vittorio Emmanuele with the porta Maggiore 
was cut (viale principe Eugenio), we discovered a portion of the 
palace of Licinius Gallienus, already excavated by Francesco 
Belardi and Giovanni Battista Piranesi more than a century before. 
These two men, having gone as far down as the level of the drains 
running under the pavements, considered their task finished, and 
all hope of further discoveries vanished ; and yet under those 
pavements and those drains lay buried at a great depth nine 
columbaria, particularly rich in cinerary urns, inscriptions, and 
objects of value. The columbaria are designed and their contents 
illustrated in the BiiUett. arch, com., 1880, p. 51, pis. 2, 3. 

The second remark refers to the foundation-walls built with 
fragments of statuary, to which very little attention was paid by 
early excavators. The value of this mine may be estimated from 
the following facts. In 1874 a bath was discovered near the 
church of SS. Pietro e Marcellino, from the foundations of which 
we extracted 95 statues, busts, torsoes, basins of fountains, pieces 
of columns, and bas-reliefs. In Dec. 1873 the group of Hercules 
capturing the mares of Diomedes, now in the palazzo dei Con- 


servatori, was found broken in 72 pieces in a wall by S. Matteo 
in Merulana. Three thousand fragments of sculptured marbles 
and I 30 inscriptions or pieces of inscriptions were discovered like- 
wise in 1873 iri the substructures of the gardens of Praetextatus 
on the Esquiline. (Consult Monograjia archeologica^ Rome, 
1878, vol. i. p. 40.) 



I. Hints to Visitors. — The Palatine hill is the property of the 
Italian Nation, with the exception of the south-east corner, 
which belongs to the Barberini. The first portion rescued from 
private hands was the vigna Nusiner, which the Crown of Russia 
gave up to Pius IX. in 1851 in exchange for some works of art. 
The same pope purchased the vigna Butirroni in 1852, the vigna 
del Collegio Inglese, formerly Ronconi, in 1862, and the vigna 
de' Benfratelli in 1866. In i860 Napoleon III. bought the 
Farnese gardens from the House of Naples, and began regular 
excavations under the management of the late comm. Pietro 
Rosa. After the fall of Napoleon in 1870, the national Govern- 
ment redeemed this portion of the hill, and took possession of 
the convents of S. Bonaventura and of the Visitation (villa Mills) 
and of their gardens. This last convent is still inhabited by the 
nuns, while that of S. Bonaventura is partially occupied by the 
"guardie degli scavi." 

The Palatine is under the management of the Minister of 
Public Instruction, represented by a local board, or " Ufficio degli 
Scavi." The excavations are visible every day : entrance fee, 
one lira, which is not charged on Sundays. Artists, professors 
and students of archaeology are exempted from the fee on 
appHcation to the " Ufficio degli Scavi. '^ The restrictions on 
photographing are most complicated, the heads of the various 
boards having different views on the subject. 

The Palatine cannot possibly be visited in one day : two days 
at least are required to become acquainted, in a certain degree, 
with the labyrinth of ruins. A modest literary preparation is 
required to lessen the difficulties of the task, and also the know- 
ledge of the main lines of the map of the hill. Many students 


on their first attempt come away more discouraged by the 
intricacies of the topography of the Palatine than pleased with 
the beauty of its ruins. They have been hurried through so 
many palaces — those of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Domitian, 
Severus — they have crossed ,so many halls, cryptoporticoes, 
stadiums, galleries, basihcas, passages, cellars, etc., that they 
feel sometimes inclined to give the thing up as hopeless. Yet 
the fundamental lines of the residence of the Caesars are simple, 
and can be understood and remembered even by non-professional 
men. The main points are these : — 

I. The Palatine hill originally vi^as almost square in shape, each 
side measuring about 450 metres in length. The addition of 
the palace of Septimius Severus at the southern corner, raised 
on an artificial platform, the foundations of which are level with 
the bottom of the valley, altered the shape from square to 
trapezoid. The fall of the Imperial buildings and the work 
of human hands have changed the abrupt cliffs into slopes, 
and given the whole place a new aspect. Vegetation and 
cultivation have done the rest, by uprooting and crushing and 
splitting enormous masses of masonry, which, mixed with earth 
brought from afar, and levelled into flower or vegetable beds, 
have covered the rocky foundation of the hill with a layer of 
rubbish from 6 to 67 feet thick. They have hidden from view 
some of its historical features : for instance, the valley between 
the Velia (by the arch of Titus) and the Circus maximus, by 
which the Palatine was divided into two summits — the Cermalus 
on the north, the Palatium on the south. In its present form the 
hill measures 2080 metres in circumference, and is 51-20 metres 
above the sea 1 and 32 above the level of modern Rome. 

II. The platform of the hill was entirely occupied by the palaces 
of the Caesars, with the exception of a space 175 metres long, 106 
wide, at the west corner (above S. Anastasia), where some relics 
of Kingly Rome were preserved down to the fall of the Empire. 

III. The Palatine was selected for the Imperial residence by 
Augustus, who built over the space now called the villa Mills 
(convent and garden della Visitazione — DOMUS Augustana). 

IV. Tiberius, born probably in the house afterwards owned by 
Germanicus and still existing in good condition, built a new wing, 
the DoMUS TiBERiANA, in the centre of the Cermalus, connecting 
it with that of Augustus by means of underground passages which 
are still visible (orti Farnesiani). 

^ Bv S. Bonaventura. 

^ e tj -I 3 


V. Caligula extended the house of Tiberius over the remain- 
ing portion of the Cermalus in the direction of the Forum (orti 
Farnesiani — DOMUS Caiana). 

VI. Nero occupied the sowt^-east corner (villa Barberini) 
overlooking his artificial lake. After his death and after the 
suppression of his Golden House, the plot of ground was converted 
by Domitian into the gardens of Adonis (HORTI Adonea). 

The Flavians began to give a unity of plan and architecture 
to the existing sections of the palace, raising new structures in 
the free spaces by which they were separated. The valley across 
the hill was filled up to the level of the platform of the Cermalus, 
and upon it were built the State apartments (Aedes Publicae). 
The house of Augustus, destroyed by the fire of Titus, was rebuilt 
in harmony with its surroundings — a STADIUM 1 (vigna Ronconi, 
del Collegio Inglese) and a garden, HoRTi Adonea (vigna 
Barberini), were added. 

Hadrian and Antoninus satisfied themselves with keeping the 
prof)erty in repair, as proved by the bricks inscribed with the 
names of their kilns which are found everywhere. Hadrian's 
principal work — as far as we know — is the EXHEDRA of the 
Stadium (vigna Ronconi, del Collegio Inglese). 

Septimius Severus, after repairing the damages of the fire of 
Commodus (191), added an immense range of buildings on the 
edge of the hill facing the Caelian and the Appian way. A 
section was occupied by the Imperial thermae, called in later 
documents Balneum Imperatoris, while the front of the 
palace, decorated with many rows of columns, received the 
name of Septizonium (vigna del Collegio Inglese). The 
same Emperors brought a large volume of water from the 
Caelian, bridging the intervening valley with a viaduct 36 
metres high, 300 metres long, remains of which are seen in 
the vigna de' Benfratelli. The channel ended with a reservoir 
or Piscina on the site of S. Bonaventura. Other additions are 
attributed to Severus Alexander and HeHogabalus (Diaetae 
Mammaeianae, Templum Heliogabali, etc.), which have not 
yet been identified with any of the existing ruins. 

Such is the classic topography of the hill in its main lines. With 
the help of the plans annexed (Figs. 40, 41) the visitor hardly 
needs that of a "cicerone'^ or of a " guardia degli scavi" to make 
himself at home on the Palatine, or to find his way through the 

^ On the correctness of this denomination see § xxii. 


ruins and investigate each section, either by itself or in its 
relation to the other wings of the Aedes Imperatoriae. 

1 must confess, however, that it is impossible to suggest to the 
student any itinerary which shall combine the topographical and 
chronological interest of the buildings. These are scattered over 
the hill in a desultory way. Once across the entrance gate, for 
instance, the visitor is confronted by three monuments, the 
MuRUS ROMULI, Templum Divi Augusti, and the church of 
S. Teodoro, separated by a gap of seven and fourteen centuries 
respectively. The area containing the hut of Romulus is sur- 
rounded by buildings of the first century of our era. It is 
impossible to cross over from the DOMUS AUGUSTANA to the 
TiBERlANA, as required by chronology, without crossing the 
oiKta Ao/xertai/ou, which is three-quarters of a century later. 
These things being so, I have given preference to the chrono- 
logical order ; in other words, my description is written for 
the use of visitors not pressed for time, who can devote three 
or four days at least to the systematic and rational study of 
the Palatine. Those who have no leisure can adopt the 
following itinerary, the best I can suggest, taking the various 
sides of the problem into consideration : — 

\st Day — Walls of Romulus, d'j- 

scribed § viii. 
Altar of Aius Locutius, § ix". 
Steps of Cacus, § x. 
Hut of Romulus, § xi. 
Temple of the great Mother of 

the Gods, § xiii. 
Paternal house of Tiberius (and 

Germanicus), § xvii. 
House of Tiberius, § xvi. 
House of Cahgula, § xviii. 

'2nd Day — Temple of Augustus, 

Clivus Victoriae, § vi. 
Palace of Domitian, § xix. 
Palace of Augustus, § xv. 
So-called Stadium, § xxii. 
Palace of Septirnius Severus, 

§ xxiii. 
House of Gelotius, § xxvi. 
S. Teodoro, § vii. 

The visitor must bear in mind one fundamental rule : that 
many of the existing ruins belong to the substructures, and 
cellars, and underground rooms built but for one purpose — to 
level the undulating surface of the hill, and to extend and 
protract the level platform over the slopes, and even over 
the plain below, as is the case with the palace of Severus 
and the Septizonium. Their plan is most irregular ; they 
have no light and very little ventilation ; architecturally speak- 
ing, they count for nothing. This is the reason why existing 
maps of the Palatine are so difficult to understand : we find 
marked in them with the same degree of importance apartments 


of State and crypts which were destined never to be seen. I 
have tried to remedy this defect in Sheets xxix, and xxxv. of the 
Forma Urbis, where the apartments alone are designed in full, 
while the substructures are simply traced in outline. 

Special permission is required to visit the palace of Augustus 
(see § XV.) The Convent of the Visitation and its grounds are 
practically inaccessible. The vigna Barberini and the chapel of 
S. Sebastian are opened on payment of a fee (see § xxxiii.) 

The Palatine during the winter months ought to be visited in 
the morning ; during the spring and autumn in the afternoon. 
There is always a great, and sometimes dangerous, difference of 
temperature between the sunny and the shady side of the ruins. 
The Palatine, with its groves of ilexes and green lawns and 
glorious views, affords a delightful promenade even to those who 
are not attracted by archaeological interests. 

General References. — Fea, Carlo — Miscellajiea afttiquaria, vol. i. p. 86, 
n. 76 ; p. 87, n. yj ; p. 223, n. 5,6, 7. Bianchini, Francesco — II palazzo dei 
C^j^aW, opera postunia. Verona, 1738. Rossini, Luigi — I sette colli. Roma, 
1827. Thon, Constantino, and Ballanti, Vincenzo — 11 palazzo dei Cesari. 
Roma, 1828. De Agostini and Brofferio — II palazzo dei CesuTi. Vercelli, 
1871. Ruspoli, Ippolito — Avanzi e ricordi del monte Palatino. Roma, 
1846. Gori, Fabio — Gli edijizi palatini dopo gli ultimi scavi. Roma, 1867. 
Jordan, Heinrich — Die Kaiserpaldste in Rom. Berlin, 1868. Henzen, 
Wilhelm — Annali dell' Instilulo, 1865, p. 346 ; 1866, p. 161. Rosa, Pietro 
— Relazione sidle scoperte archeologiche negli anni, 1871-72, p. 75 ; and also 
Plan et peintures de la maison de Tibtre, mai 1869. Visconti e Lanciani — 
Guida del Palatino, con pianta delineata da A. Zangolini. Roma, Bocca, 
1873-93. Preuner, A. — Das Palatimn in alten Rom. Greifswald, 1875. 
Boissier, Gaston — Promenades archdologiques. Paris, 1882. Maes, Constantino 
— Topograjia storica del Palatino. Roma, 1883 (unfinished). Deglane — Le 
palais des Cdsars, in Gazette arch^ologique, 1888, pp. 124, 145, 211. Richter, 
Otto — Die attest e Wohnsdtte des Romischen Volkes. Roma, Berlin, 1891. 
Middleton, John Henry — The Remains of Ancient Rome, vol. i. chap. iv. 
p. 158. Lanciani, Rodolfo — II palazzo maggiore, in Mittheilungen, 1894, p. i. 
Forma Urbis Romae, plates xxix., xxxv. ; and Ancient Rome, chap. v. p. 106. 
Huelsen, Christian — Ufitersuchtingefi zur topographie des Palatins, in Mitthei- 
lungen, 1895, p. 3. 

II. The Origin of the Palatine City. — Two discoveries 
have illustrated from a new point of view the origin of Palatine 
Rome, that of the city of Antemnae, and that of the Terramara di 

According to tradition ^ Antemnae was a flourishing settlement 

^ References. — Nibby, Antonio — Analisi dei dintorni di Roma, vol. i. 
p. 161. Dennis — Cities and Cemeteries of Ftruria, vol. i. p. 44. Gell, 
William — Topography of Rome, p. 64. Smith's Diction, geograph., vol. i. 
P- 139- 


when a colony of Alban shepherds occupied the Palatine. The 
distance between the two places being less than four miles, and 
their bartering trade very active, as they were located on the same 
(left) bank of the Tiber and on the same road (Salaria vetus), we 
may assume that manners, h.abits, stage of civilisation, etc., were 
about the same in Rome and Antemnae. Antemnae died a sudden 
death a few years after the foundation of Rome. It is evident, 
therefore, that a search made on the site of the former corresponds 
practically to a search made in the lower strata of Kingly Palatine. 

The search was made in 1882-83, while the hill was crowned 
by a fort.i The facts ascertained were these (see Fig. 42). 

The city occupied the platform of the hill, protected by cliffs 
or rivers {ante aimtes) on every side, except where a neck or 
isthmus connected it with the tableland (monti Parioli, villa Ada). 
The natural strength of the site had been increased by a wall 
built of blocks of local stone, each 2 feet (0*59 metre) high, 3 (0*89) 
long. There were three gates, one leading to the river and to 
the springs, one to the high-road (Salaria), the third to the 
cemetery and pasture-lands. The Antemnates lived in round or 
square huts, with a framework of timber and a thatched roof, the 
site of which is marked by a hard-trodden, coal-coloured floor within 
a ring of rough stones. Their public buildings, like the temple and 
the curia, were of better style, and probably all of stone. The cattle 
were driven in at night into the enclosures or sheepfolds adjoining 
each hut. The area enclosed by walls was therefore much larger 
than required by the number of inhabitants. 

In times of peace the Antemnates drank from the springs at 
the foot of the hill ; for times of war they had provided themselves 
with cisterns and wells under shelter of the fortifications. One of 
the wells still in use is 54 feet deep ; and one of the cisterns, 
covered by a triangular roof (destroyed 1883), could hold 5000 
gallons of water (see Fig. 43). 

The civihsation of the Antemnates when their city ceased to 
exist was in the "bronze" stage. One-third of their pottery and 
domestic ware was of local make and baked in an open fire ; the 
rest was of Etruscan importation. There were traces of the stone 
period, such as arrow-heads and lance-spears of polished flint, clay 
beads, and fragments of the roughest kind of pottery. 

This description answers word for word to that of the city on 
the Palatine. Here again we have the isolated hill protected by 

1 References. — Notizie degli Scavi, 1882, p. 415; 1883, p. 16; 1886, p. 24; 
1887, p. 64. 




cliffs, by water, and by a circuit of walls ; the neck of the Velia 
connecting it with the tableland of the Esquiline ; the gate leading 
to the river and springs {rofnanula), that leading to the pasture 
fields and cemeteries {juugoniii)^ and a third descending to the 
valHs Murtia ; the wells and cisterns within the fortifications ; and 



1- T' 


other such characteristics of the age. The description we have 
of the Casa Romuli, kept in its prehistoric simplicity as late as 
the fourth century after Christ, shows that the Romans, hke the 
Antemnates, lived in straw huts ; and furthermore, the discoveries 
made in the cemeteries of the Viminal and of the Esquiline prove 
that their civilisation was in the "bronze" stage. {^^^Ancie?it Rome^ 
chap. ii. p. 26.) Roman archaic pottery was half of local (or Alban) 
make, half of Etruscan importation. ^ Cattle were driven in at 
night, each family being provided with an " agellus " and a 

What has been said about Rome and Antemnae must be 
applied to other contemporary settlements like Collatia, Fidenae, 
Labicum, Ardea, Gabii, Veii, etc., the sites of which, excepting that 
of Veii, have not yet been scientifically investigated. They were all 
organised on the same system : their walls enclosed an area ten times 
as large as that required by the number of inhabitants, because 
they shared it with their flocks, and each hut had its own sheepfold 
and orchard. The highest and strongest point within the walls 

^ The archaic KeijuriXia discovered in the cemeteries of Kingly Rome have 
been removed, Sept. 1895, from hall No. II. of the museo Municipale al Celio 
to two rooms of the palazzo dei Conservator!, where the want of light and space 
makes their examination almost impossible. 



was occupied by the citadel, containing the temple, the curia, the 
aerarium, the reservoir for rain-water. After the Roman con- 
quest the scanty surviving population was concentrated on the 
site of the citadel, and the rest of the city cut up into farms and 
allotted to Roman colonists. The Roman municipia of Veii (piazza 
d' Armi), of Fidenae (monte di Villa Spada), of Gabii (farmhouse of 
Castiglione) are all that mark the place of the respective citadels 
of the time of the independence, while the area once enclosed by 
the city walls was put into cultivation. For this reason it is almost 
impossible to recognise the site of the huts and the extent of the 
piece of ground pertaining to each of them ; in other words, to 
decide whether the old Sabine, Etruscan, and Latin cities in the 
lower valley of the Tiber had a car do and a decumanus^ and were 
planned, according to the principles of the " agrimetatio," in square 
plots or "heredia." 

My opinion is that they were not. In the excavations made in 
1 889 within the walls of Veii ^ I have seen traces of primitive habita- 
tions which were not " oriented," and the same thing was observed 
at Antemnae. It is to be regretted that no proper search has been 
yet made in the lower strata of the Palatine, where the excavations 
stop generally at the wrong level, leaving most of the problems 
unsolved ; ^ but I believe that the shepherds who occupied the 
hill in 753 B.C. had no idea whatever of gromatic or astronomical 
rules of their own, so that the sulcus primige7iius had to be traced 
according to a foreign rite. Rome and its neighbouring settle- 
ments on either side of the " Rumon " must have looked like the 
temporary villages which the peasants of the present day build in 
the Pomptine marshes or in the Agro Romano when they come 
down from their mountains for the cultivation of the maize-fields. 
The prototype of these prehistoric contemporary settlements is the 
village constructed every autumn on the borders of the (now drained) 
lake of Gabii, at the twelfth milestone on the via Praenestina, and 
inhabited by a half-savage tribe of two hundred mountaineers. 
I never fail to take our students to this remarkable village 
during the University term, to give them an object-lesson more 
impressive than any which can be found in the whole of the 

^ Described Notizie degli Scavi, 1889, pp. 10, 29, 60, 154, 238. 

- Goettling [Geschichte der Romisch. Siaaisverw. , pp. 49, 202, 235) believes 
the Sacra via to have been the decmnatius marking the boundary between the 
Sabine and the Roman city ; but the Sacra via of those days was but a winding 
path outside the Palatine, to which alone my considerations refer. 




The populations of the Terrajiiare} on the contrary, seem to 
have been famihar with the principles of the " agrimetatio." The 
startling discoveries made by Pigorini in the Terramara at Cas- 
tellazzo di P^ontanellato in the province of Parma are described in 
the following papers : — 

Notizie degli Scavl, 1889, p. 355; 1891, p. 304; 1892, p. 450; 1895, 
p. 9. Monuinentl ineditl Accademia Lincei, vol. i. (1889), p. 123. Bitllettino 
di paleoetnologia italiana, vol. xix. (1893), tav. viii. Von Duhn, Friedrich 
— Nejie Heidelberger lahrbiicher, vol. iv. (1894), p. 143. 


This primitive settlement of immigrants in the " Poebene ''' - 
forms an oblong 230 metres wide between the parallel sides, 480 
metres long, and covers an area of 19I hectares (195,525 square 

1 The name Terramara is a corruption of that of Terra mama, given till 
1862 to the special kind of earth, rich in organic qualities, which the peasants 
of Upper Italy dug from prehistoric stations and used as a fertiliser. When 
Pigorini and Strobel began their study of these stations they adopted the 
corrupted name Terramara in preference to Terra marna, to avoid the con- 
fusion which the epithet " marl " might produce in scientific treatises. 

2 The valley of the Po and of its affluents. 


metres). Its fortified enclosure comprises a ditch (A) 100 Roman 
feet wide, 1 2 deep (30 x 3*50 metres), and an agger ox embankment 
(B) formed with the earth excavated from the ditch, sloping towards 
the water and supported by a perpendicular palisade (C) on the 
inner side. The adoption of a trapezoid form in the Terramare, 
instead of the square or parallelogram, is explained by the fact 
that the sharp corner (D) always faces the river (E), from which 
the supply of water for the ditch is derived, so as to divide it into 
two equal streams, which meet again at the outlet (F). There was 
but one gate, approached by a bridge 30 metres wide (G), the axis 
of which is in a line with the cardo or high street (H, I) cutting 
the village in two halves. The quarter (K) west of the high 
street was entirely occupied by huts built on palisades ; on the 
opposite side we find the central portion occupied by a square of 
solid ground (L) 100 metres long, 50 wide, protected by a ditch 
30 metres wide, 6 deep, and approached by a bridge (M) on the 
line of the decumaims. This fortified terrace represents the 
" templum," in the primitive sense of the word, or, to use the 
expression of Helbig, the fundamental idea of the arx of Italian 
towns and of the " praetorium " of Roman camps. There were two 
cemeteries outside the fortifications (N, O), also enclosed by a 
ditch and made accessible by a bridge. The cremated remains 
of the Terramaricoli were kept in clay urns, placed in rows on a 
wooden platform supported by palisades.^ 

If the reader refer to the map of the Palatine (Fig. 44), he 
will find that nature had done for early Rome nearly all the work 
that human labour and ingenuity had done at Fontanellato. The 
marshes of the two Velabra and the pond, which Nero transformed 
afterwards into the lake of the Golden House, represent the water 
defences ; the neck of the Velia represents the bridge ; the chflfs 
answer to the embankment. Other points of resemblance are 
the square form, the angle facing the stream (Nodinus ?) which 
fed the greater Velabrum, and the area of about 17 hectares. 
The Romans, however, did not wait long to make themselves 
familiar with the "agrimetatio," and to adopt Xh^pes (-297 metres), 
its multiples and fractions, as the standard national measure. 
When Servius Tullius built the great agger for the protection of 
the city on the east side, he simply copied in the minutest details 
the fortifications of the Terramare. The agger of Servius com- 

^ In the campaign of last summer (1895) Pigorini discovered side streets 
parallel with the cai-do and the decumanus. The Terramara, therefore, was 
divided into regular squares or parallelograms. 


prises a ditch exactly loo pedes wide, 30 deep; an embankment 
made with the earth of the ditch, sloping towards the city and 
supported by a wall on the outside. The three gates, Collina, 
Viminalis, Esquilina, were approached by bridges. The ground 
on the other side of the ditch was occupied by cemeteries. 

The history of the Palatine, from the foundation of the city to 
that of the Empire, is not known. At the time of Tarquinius 
Priscus (616-578) it was still honoured by the kingly residence, a 
casa of more elaborate construction than the ordinary citizens' huts, 
placed near the porta Mugonia and the temple of Jupiter Stator 
(Sohnus, i. 24). The hill was not above the reach of fever, even 
after the drainage of the lesser Velabrum, accomplished by Tar- 
quinius by means of the Cloaca maxima, as the worship of the 
dea Febris was never intermitted, and her temple and altar not 
abandoned for centuries after. Besides the Fever's shrine there 
were others to the dea Viriplaca, a protectress of domestic 
peace ; to Orbona, the evil genius of blindness ; an altar to Aius 
Locutius (described § ix.); temples to Victory (§ vi.) ; to the 
great Mother of the Gods (§ xiii.) ; and to Jupiter Propugnator 
(§ xiv.) 

Towards the end of the Republic the Palatine became one of the 
most aristocratic quarters of the city, resorted to by the great 
orators, lawyers, and political men of the age on account of its 
proximity to the Curia, to the Rostra and the Forum, The 
following palatial residences are recorded in classic texts :— 

1. House of M. Fulvius Flaccus, destroyed, by order of the 
Senate, after his execution for his share in the conspiracy of the 
Gracchi. The space left vacant, area Flacciana, was occupied 
soon after by a wing of the porticus Catuli. 

2. House of Q. Lutatius Catulus, consul 102 B.C. with Marius, 
with whom he gained the victory over the Cimbri near Vercellae. 
With his share in the spoils of war he enlarged his house and 
connected it with a portico, the porticus Catuli, where thirty-one 
flags taken from the enemy were exhibited. 

3. House of M. Livius Drusus, tribune of the plebs in 91 B.C., 
the great reformer of social laws, whose murder by Q. Varius was 
immediately followed by the social war, which his policy would 
have averted. The house was inherited by Crassus the orator, 
who, having ornamented its impluvium with four columns of 
Hymettian marble, the first ever seen in Rome, was nicknamed 
" the Palatine Venus." Cicero bought it in December 62 for a 


sum corresponding to ^31,000. The peristyle was shaded by six 
marvellous lotus trees, which perished 1 70 years later in the 
fire of Nero. It passed afterwards into the hands of C. Marcius 
Censorinus, another great orator and Greek scholar ; of L. Cornelius 
Sisenna, annalist-historian, translator of the Milesian tales of 
Aristides ; of A. Caecina Largus, probably the author of the book 
on the Etriisca DiscipUna — until it was absorbed into Caligula's 

4. House of Quintus Cicero, near the one of his brother 
Marcus, but lower down the slope of the hill. It was wrecked and 
burnt to the ground by Clodius. 

5. House of Clodius, the notorious enemy of Cicero, — composed 
of two portions : one belonging to Cicero himself, which he had 
bought at the time of the banishment of the orator ; one to 
C. Seius, which he had obtained by poisoning the owner on his 
refusal to sell. The domus Clodiana was magnificent, and 
commanded a glorious view. 

6. House of M. Aemilius Scaurus, stepson of Sulla the 
dictator, perhaps the richest of all Palatine residences. When 
Cicero was restored to the possession of his own, he tried to 
take a revenge on the usurper Clodius by raising one or two 
floors so as to cut off the view of which his enemy was so proud. 
To avoid this danger Clodius purchased the palace of Scaurus 
for a sum of ^88 5,000 (?), having already spent ;i^i3i,ooo on 
his own. 

All these residences were in the district of the clivus Victoriae, 
at the corner of the hill commanding the Forum, and must have 
disappeared when Caligula extended the Imperial palace as far as 
the Nova via and the temple of Castor and Pollux. 

7. The paternal house of Augustus, in the lane called the 
" Oxen-heads," at the east corner of the hill. (See § xv.) 

8. The house of Quintus Hortensius, first the rival, then the 
associate of Cicero : a man of immense wealth, and endowed with 
a memory so retentive that he could repeat the auction -list 
backwards on coming out of sale-rooms. He was also the first 
to include peacocks in Roman dinner me7ius. Hortensius' 
residence was purchased by Augustus, and enclosed in the 
Imperial palace together with 

9. The house of L. Sergius Catilina. Both were on the edge 
of the hill facing the Circus maximus. 

It is now time for us to enter the precincts of the famous hill 


and examine one by one the remains which bear evidence on so 
many points of the pohtical and monumental history of the "queen 
of the world." 

III. The strip of land between the north-western cliffs of the 
Cermalus and the vicus Tuscus, by which we enter the excava- 
tions, is known to topographers by the name of vigna Nusiner, 
and is represented in the following fragment of the marble plan 
of Rome, published by Trendelenburg in the Archaeologische 
Zeitung^ 1875, "^'o^- xxxiii. p. 52 ; and by myself in the Bicll. com. 
arch.^ vol. xiii. (1886) p. 159. (See Fig. 47.) 

The clivus Victoriae, cut in the live rock along the foot of the 
cliffs, bounds the triangular space on one side, the templum divi 
Augusti on the second, the vicus Tuscus on the third. The 
ground contains, besides, the springs of Juturna, the murus 
Romuli, the altar of Aius Locutius (the Lupercal), and the church 
of S. Teodoro. All these monuments and landmarks, excepting 
the temple and the church, belong to the earliest period of 
Roman history, so that we could not begin our visit to the 
Palatine in more regular order. 

The vigna Nusiner has been excavated oftener than any 
other part of the Palatine, and yet we know very little about it for 
want of proper accounts. The Frangipanis owned it at the end 
of the fifteenth century, together with a fortified house called 
Lo Palazzo de Frigiapafii. I have found two deeds in the records 
of that family: one dated 21st January 15 16, by which the 
brothers Giambattista and Marcello Frangipani give permission 
to the rector of the church of S. Lorenzo ai Monti lo open 
cavani sen fossnram lapidiun in their vineyard iiixta sanctum 
Theodorum; the second, dated October 23rd, 1535, relates to 
a controversy between Antonino Frangipani and Camilla Alberini 
on the produce of the excavations which a stonecutter named 
Giuliano was making at that time. 

In 1 549- 1 550 the contractors for the supply of building 
materials to S. Peter's found the pavement of the vicus Tuscus, 
the pedestal of the statue of Vortumnus, and the remains of a 
temple with columns, capitals, entablature, and a frieze ornamented 
with griffins and candelabra. The plunder was so considerable 
that no fresh excavations were attempted for a lapse of a century 
and a half The land was turned into a kitchen-garden, famous 
for its artichokes. In a contract of March i ith, 1649, ^^^^ spring 
harvest of them is valued at 140 scudi. 


A new search was made in 1720, between the churches of 
S. Teodoro and S. Anastasia. It led to the discovery of a 
portico with pilasters of travertine (one of the three marked in the 
fragment of the marble plan), of pieces of columns, and of a row 
of rooms filled with objects of metal and scoriae, to which Venuti 
gives the name of " fonderia palatina," or Imperial brass-foundry. 

Giovanni Battista Visconti opened the ground for the fifth 
time at least; but his progress was stopped by the House of 
Naples under the plea that he was undermining the walls that 
held up the Farnese gardens. 

In June 1845 the antiquarian Vescovali, on behalf of the 
Emperor of Russia, who had purchased the vigna for the sake 
of excavating, discovered the remains of the domus Gelotiana 
(see § xxvi.) ; in December 1846 he came upon those of the 
murus Romuli ; and in April 1847 upon the remains of a 
private house on the vicus Tuscus, decorated with columns of 
porphyry and giallo antico. 

In 1869 Pius IX. laid bare the pavement of the clivus Victoriae 
and the alleged site of the porta Romanula. The Itafian Govern- 
ment began the last and general excavation of the place in 1876 
(and again in 1884), but the work was soon given up without 

On entering the Palatine by the S. Teodoro gate we are 
confronted with the Augustaeum on the left, with the clivus 
Victoriae and the fons Juturnae opposite the gate, with the church 
of S. Teodoro and the murus Romuli on the right. 

IV. Templum divi Augusti (temple of Augustus). — The 
temple in honour of the deified founder of the Empire was 
begun by his widow Livia and by Tiberius, his adopted son, and 
completed by Caligula. Domitian restored it after the fire of 
Titus. Pliny (xii. 19, 42) describes, among the curiosities of the 
place, a root of a cinnamon tree of great size placed by Livia on 
a golden plate, the sap of which was hardened into globules every 
year; and also a famous picture of Hyacinthus by Nikias the 
Athenian, which Augustus had brought from Alexandria. The 
plan and design of the building is different from the recognised 
type of a Roman temple, having the front on the long side of the 
parallelogram instead of the short. The shape seems special 
to the Augustaea, perhaps on account of the large number of 
statues which had to be placed on the siiggestiun opposite the 
door, the deified Emperor being generally surrounded by other 


members of the family. The temple is mentioned in connection 
with Caligula's bridge, which is supposed to have crossed the 
valley of the Forum at a great height, so as to enable the young 
monarch to walk on a level from his palace to the temple of 
Jupiter on the Capitol. The bridge never existed in the strict 



sense of the word. Caligula passed from roof to roof of the 
intermediate buildings, spanning the gaps of the streets with 
temporary wooden passages. Suetonius and Flavius Josephus 
mention among these buildings, first, the templum divi Augusti, 
then the basilica Julia. There is no doubt, therefore, that these 
noble ruins, placed between the basilica and the Emperor's 
palace, belong to the Augustaeum. 


The back wall of the temple, the 7nuriis post aedeni divi Augusti 
ad Minervam^ was used for the posting of State notices and 
Imperial decrees. Two attendants of the Augustaeum are men- 
tioned in epigraphic documents : a Bathyllus aeditmis templi divi 
Augusti^ ct divae Angus tae quod est i?t Palatiiiin {Corpus^ vi, n. 
4222), and aT. Flavius Onesimus aedituus tempii 7iovi divi Augusti^ 
n. 8704. The temple has been excavated at least five times. 
I have found in the State archives an Act of October 2nd, 1526, 
hy which Jacopo de' Muti gives back to a poor widow, Lucrezia 
Collino, the caution deposited by her before she began the 
excavations in the garden of S. Maria Liberatrice. 

Pirro Ligorio was able to draw the plan of the structure about 
1549, in consequence of the excavations described Book III. 
§ xxi. (See Middleton, The Remai?ts of A?iciefit Rome^ vol. i. 

P- 275, fig. 35.) 

In 1 702 a contractor named Andrea Bianchi gained permission 
from Sister Costanza di Santacroce, abbess of the monastery of 
Torre de' Specchi, to search for building materials within and 
near the temple. He found the church of S. Maria Antiqua — 
that is to say, that inner hall of the Augustaeum which had been 
adapted to Christian worship at the end of the fourth century, 
and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, in opposition to the worship of 
Vesta, the headquarters of which were on the other side of the 
street. There are two descriptions of the find : one by Galletti in 
the Vatican Library {Chron. iniscelL, xxxiii.); another by Valesio in 
Cancellieri's Sole7ini possessi^ p. 370. The church was level with 
the floor of the Augustaeum, and ended with an apse, with frescoes 
representing the Saviour and some saints, among which was 
prominent the figure of Paul I. (757-767), with the square nimbus 
and the legend Sa?ictiss. Paulus Romcuius Papa. The frescoes 
on the walls of the aisles represented scenes in the life of the 
Saviour, with texts from the Gospel in Greek and Gothico-Latin 
letters. The figure of the Crucifix showed the feet nailed apart. 
Benedict XIV. ordered the church to be roofed over and kept 
open for inspection, but the order was never executed. 

In 1735 Antonio Vanni excavated the plot of ground near the 
temple known as the Caprareccia. 

The last excavation took place in 1885. It was discovered 
then that the church of S. Maria Antiqua behind the Augustaeum 
had been put in communication with the Augustaeum itself, by 
cutting an irregular passage through the partition wall 7 feet thick. 
The sides of the passage were covered with figures of saints 


painted in the eleventh century, with the name appended to each 
of them : those of the Eastern Church, led by SCS. Basilivs, on 
one side ; those of the Western, led by Scs. Benedictvs, 
on the other. The two images are connected with the Basilian 
and Benedictine brotherhoods and convents which at that time 
flourished on the Palatine (S. Cesario in Palatio and S. Sebasti- 
ano in Pallara). 

Literature. — Ligorio, Pirro — Bodleian MSS. , fol. 33. Parker, Henry— 7'/^^ 
Forum Romanmn, London, 1876, plates 21 and 24. Notizie degli Scavi, 
1882, April, pi. 16. Middleton, Henry — The Remains of Ancient Rofne, 2nd 
ed. , vol. i. p. 275, fig. 35. De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Bullettino cristiano, 
1885, p. 143. Pagan and Christian Rome, p. loi. 

V. FONS JUTURNAE (the springs of Juturna). — The temple 
of Augustus is built against the live rock of the Palatine, masses 
of which appear all along the clivus Victoriae, above and under 
the pavement of the street. Opposite the gate by which we 
have entered the excavations, and right under the west wall 
of the temple, the rock is perforated with wells and channels, 
cut for the purpose of reaching and regulating the springs with 
which the lower or quaternary clay strata are here saturated. 
This is the celebrated fons Juturnae, placed by Dionysius, Ovid, 
Florus, etc., at the north corner of the Palatine, the waters 
of which, on reaching the plain, expanded into a deep pond 
(profunda palus) called the lacus Curtius. Here the apparition 
of the Dioscuri took place, to announce to the Romans the victory 
of Lake Regillus : they were seen washing and watering their 
horses " at the spring which made a pool near the temple of 
Vesta," 1 between it and the temple raised to the celestial 
messengers themselves in memory of the event. The pond was 
drained after the opening of the Cloaca maxima, and the only 
trace left of it was a well and a puteal inscribed with the name 
of DIVTVR — perhaps the very one now preserved in the Vatican 
museum, Galleria lapidaria, No. 164. 

Although the accumulation of modern soil and ruins conceals 
these springs from view, they have never ceased to flow, and to 
find and force their way towards the Cloaca maxima. In Crescim- 
beni's History of S. M. in Cosmedin^ p. 14, we find this report 
by Angelo Maffei, dated 25th Sept. 171 5 : "1 remember to have 
seen, in my early youth, the ground open and sink into a chasm 

^ Plutarch, Coriol., 3 ; Dionysius, vi. 13, etc. 


fifty cubits deep near the three columns [of Castor's temple], and a 
mass of water rush at the bottom of it." The accident, caused 
by the erosion of subterranean springs upon the earth, must have 
happened at other times, because this corner of the Palatine 
was known in the Middle Ages under the name of " the Hell " 
(r Inferno) ; hence the name of the church above, S. Maria 
libera nos a poejiis Iiifer7ti. The traditional adventure of Q. 
Curtius may have originated from a like phenomenon in the 
fourth century B.C. 

Another powerful jet of water appeared in May 1702 in the 
excavations of the church of S. Maria Antiqua mentioned above ; 
another in March 1 8 1 6 at the foot of the three columns of the 
Castores. In 1 8 1 8 Carlo Fea found water all around the temple, 
to the depth of 3-34 metres under the pavement of the vicus 
Tuscus. I remember myself having seen the same place suddenly 
inundated in January 1871, when, the excavations had come 
accidentally in contact with one of the underground channels. 
The works were suspended for a week or two, until the waters 
were given an outlet towards the Cloaca maxima. 

References. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull. Instil., 1871, p. 279 ; 2i\\6. 1 co7nen- 
tarii di Frontino intorno le acque e gli acquedotti . Roma, 1880, p. 13. Tom- 
masetti, Giuseppe — Bull. Inst., 1871, p. 137. Nichols, Francis — The Roman 
Forum, London, 1877, p. 74. 

VI. The Clivus Victoriae. — The porta Romanula, or 
" river gate " of the Palatine, could be approached from two 
sides : from the Forum by a short cut, or steps, used by women 
in bringing up their load of water from the pool of Juturna ; 
and from the Velabrum by a carriage -road cut along the base 
of the cliff at a steep incline. The road is marked (IV) in the 
fragment of the marble plan. Fig. 47. It was named from an 
altar of Victory dating from the earliest days of the city, and 
transformed into a temple 293 B.C., by the consul Lucius Pos- 
tumius. On April 4th, 203, the meteoric stone from Pessinus, 
which the Romans called the Great Mother of the Gods, was 
deposited in this sanctuary, pending the erection of the temple 
described § xiii. Eleven years later Cato the Censor dedicated 
a shrine Victoriae Virgini, by the side of the temple, and this is 
the last mention we find of it in the classics. The temple was 
discovered by Bianchini in 1728, on the edge of the hill above 
the road, inside a court or re/xevos, between the palaces of Tiberius 
and Caligula. There were splendid fragments of its marble 


decorations : a frieze ornamented with the emblems of a naval 
victory; columns of giallo belonging to the peristyle, capitals, 
bases, the pedestal of a statue (the same one, probably, dedicated 
by Cato the Censor in 192) ; and two pieces of the inscription of 
the temple itself, which commemorate a restoration by Augustus : — 

imp • (^-AESAR • dIvI • F • aedei)i • 7v'ctoria^ • j^efec. 

These fragments were kept for a long time on the spot, near the 
Uccelliera ; in 1836, however, they were dispersed: a few went 
to the museo Nazionale, Naples ; others to the palazzo Farnese, 

On ascending the clivus Victoriae from S. Teodoro towards 
the porta Romanula, we pass on the right the remains of thirteen 
rooms, the walls of which were of opus quadratum, strengthened 
at a later period with opus lateritium. These remains, dating 
from the last century of the Republic, are attributed to the porticus 
Catuli. No trace is left of the private palaces of Catulus, Scaurus, 
Clodius, Cicero, etc., described § ii. 

References. — Lanciani, Rodolfo— // tempio della Vittoria, in Bull, arch, 
com., 1883, p. 206. Huelsen, Christian — -Mittheil., 1895, pp. 23, 269. 

VII. The Church of S. Teodoro. ^ — This round structure 
belongs to the cycle of Byzantine churches and chapels by which 
the Palatine was surrounded after the fall of the Empire, and 
is dedicated to an officer who suffered martyrdom at Amaseia 
in the Pontus during the persecution of Maximian. The present 
rotunda dates from the time of Nicholas V. (1447-55), except 
the apse and its mosaics, which seem to belong to the time of 
Hadrian I. (772-795), The level of the church, half-way between 
that of the vicus Tuscus and that of the modern road, shows how 
rapid has been the rise of the soil in the last four centuries. The 
pieces of serpentine with which part of the court is paved were 
discovered at the time of Clement XI. in the marble wharf of the 
Emporium at La Marmorata, 

VIII. MURUS ROMULI. — These venerable remains of the 
primitive fortifications, which we meet with on turning the west 
corner of the hill towards S. Anastasia, are built of blocks of 
local tufa, the work of Etruscan masons, as shown by the way 
the stones are placed, lengthwise in one tier and crosswise in the 
next above. The tufa of the walls is characteristic of all works 
done in Rome before Servius Tullius, such as the fortifications of 


the Arx in the garden of the AracoeH, and can easily be identified 
by means of the black scoriae which it contains, the texture and 
softness of which resemble those of charred wood. This special 
tufa, hardly fit for building purposes, was quarried on the spot 
from the lautumiae near the temple of Jupiter Propugnator. Other 
quarries have been discovered in the very heart of the Capitoline 
hill and at Fidenae (villa Spada, via Salaria). 

The walls of the Palatine were discovered on January 26th, 
1847, but the Government commissioners, Visconti, Canina, and 
Grifi, did not at once realise the importance of the find. They 
call them in their official report " a monument built of large 
blocks of tufa, forming two wings 20 palms long, with an arch 
cut in the live rock between them." The walls are visible at two 
other points, near the gardener's house and near the so-called 
domus Gelotiana. Students wishing to get more information 
about these early fortifications of the Palatine may consult — 

Dyer, Thomas — History of the City of Rome, London, 1865, P- i4- Lan- 
ciani, Rodolfo — Sulle mura e porte di Servio, in Ann, Inst., 1871, p. 41. 
Visconti e Lanciani — Guida del Palatino, Roma, 1873-93, p. 73. Jordan, 
Heinrich — Topographie, vol. i. p. 172. Richter, Otto — Ann. Inst., 1884, P- 

Behind the wall and under the north-west corner of the hill 
there is a reservoir of water, a rough design of which is given by 
Middleton. Formerly it was deep under ground, the water being 
drawn from above by means of a well of conical shape ; but a land- 
slip having carried away a portion of the cliff behind the wall, the 
reservoir can now be entered on a level. There is a basin or 
cavity right under the well towards which slope all the galleries 
of the cistern, so as to allow the besieged to draw the last drop 
in case of water-famine. 

IX. The Altar of Aius Locutius. — This remarkable 
altar was first noticed by Nibby in 1838, on the spot where we 
see it standing now, on absolutely modern ground, 30 feet at 
least above the ancient level ; but, although not in situ, it 
must have been found not very far off. Nibby and Mommsen 
consider it as a restoration made in 125 B.C. of the one raised in 
the Infima Nova via--in the "lower new street" — behind the 
temple of Vesta, in memory of the mysterious voice which in the 
stillness of night warned the citizens of the approach of the Gauls. 
The voice was attributed to a local Genius, whom the people 


named Aiiis Loquens or Locutius j but, as Roman religion re- 
frained from mentioning in public prayers the name and sex of 
unknown local Genii, lest the ceremonies should be vitiated by a 
false invocation, or else the true name of these -tutelary gods 
should be made known to the enemies of the commonwealth, 
so the altar, raised in memory of the event, bears the vague 
dedication — 

SEI . DEO • SKI • DEIVAE • SkC{rtmi) — 

" sacred to a Divinity, whether male or female." Servius describes 
likewise a shield dedicated on the Capitol to the Genius of Rome 
with the legend — 


The altar of Locutius was restored by Caius Sextius Calvinus, 
mentioned twice by Cicero as a candidate for the praetorship 
against Glaucias in 125 B.C. The monument cannot fail to im- 
press the student on account of its connection with one of the 
leading events in history — the capture and burning of Rome by 
the Gauls in 390 B.C. 

References. — Nibby, Antonio — Analisi . . . del din/or?ii di Roma, vol. i. 
p. 321. Corpus Inscr. Lat., vol. i. n. 632, p. 185. Pagan and Christian 
Rome, p. 72. Pascal, Carlo — Bull, com., 1894, p. 188. 

The corner of the hill above the murus Romuli, towards which 
we are now ascending by a winding path shaded by ilexes, contains 
monuments dating from the early days of the city. I have said 
already that the Palatine was divided into two summits — the " hill 
of the Twins," or Cermalus, on the north ; the "hill of Pales," or 
Palatium, on the south. This last is entirely covered by Imperial 
buildings, which have swept away or concealed whatever monu- 
ments there were left of the Kingly and Republican ages ; while 
on the Cermalus the later constructions have avoided the ground 
made sacred by tradition or by existing remains of bygone days. 
This historic space overlooking the Velabrum, left free by the 
Caesars, measures 175 metres in length, 106 metres in depth, and 
contains the steps of Cacus, the hut of Romulus, the old stone 
quarries, the temple of the Great Mother of the Gods, and the 
temple of Jupiter Propugnator. A section of the space is repre- 
sented in Fig. 49 (next page). The background is formed by the 
arched substructures of the palace of Tiberius, the foreground 
by the steps of the temple of Cybele, and by the foundations of 
the fifth chapel of the Argaei, which Varro places aptid aedem 





RomuH. The space is strewn with architectural fragments from 
the temple of Cybele. 





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HHkflHJ ^^^H 

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X. SCALAE Caci (steps of Caciis). — We have seen before 
that the Palatine city could be entered from three sides : 


through the porta Romanula from the north-west, by the 
Mugonia from the north-east, and by the steps of Cacus from 
the side of the Circus. These steps took at a very early date 
the place of a dangerous path connecting the primitive village 
with the spring and cave of Faun Lupercus.^ They are called 
jSaOfxovs KaAr/? aKTrjs ("the steps of the beautiful shore") by 
Plutarch, and Scalae Caci by Solinus. The first name owes its 
origin to the picturesque inlet formed by the waters of the greater 
Velabrum near the Lupercal ; the other to the hut of a certain 
Cacus, a friend, of Hercules, who lived near the Ara maxima on 
the shore of the same pool. The Scalae were shaded by the 
sacred cornelian tree, believed to be the spear of Romulus, which, 
being thrown by the hero from the opposite heights of the Aventine, 
had struck the ground with such force as to strike root and grow 
up again into a beautiful tree. 

Two historical events are connected with the steps. First, 
their restoration by Caligula, in consequence of which the roots 
of the cornelian tree were cut off and the tree killed ; secondly, 
the escape of Vitellius in December 69, when, after the capture of 
the city by the generals of Vespasian,- he fled " per aversam partem 
palatii " to the Aventine. The steps have nearly all disappeared, 
but the walls of opus quadratum by which they were enclosed and 
the pavement of the upper landing are tolerably well preserved. 
There was a gate at the top of the ascent, the site of which is 
marked by travertine jambs. 

References, — Preller, Ludwig — Die Regionen, p. 152. Bethmann, Karl — 
Bull. Instit., 1852, p. 40. Ampere — Histoire romaine, a Rome, vol. i. p. 
292. Wecklein — Hermes, vol. vi. p. 193. Richter, Otto — Annali Inst., 
1884, p. 189. Helbig, Wolfgang— G/*;/;^/^, vol. i, n. 618, p. 459. 

XI. Casa Romuli (the hut of Romulus). — Tradition tells us 
that at the top of the steps just described there was the hut of 

1 The Lupercal opened at the foot of the cliffs between the Velabrum and 
the Circus maximus in the direction of S. Anastasia. Its entrance was once 
shaded by the Ficus ruminalis, marking the spot where the cradle containing 
the infant twins had been washed ashore by the flood. The memory of the 
miraculous event was perpetuated by a bronze group of Tuscan workmanship, 
representing the twins nursed by the wolf. This is probably the same as the 
one preserved in the Conservatori palace and restored by Guglielmo della 
Porta (?) The Lupercal was discovered in the first half of the sixteenth century. 
Ulisse Aldovrandi, quoted by Fea [Miscell. , i. 206, n. 4), says : " There was a 
temple of Neptune (of Faun Lupercus) built by the Arcadians near the Circus 
maximus, and I believe it to be the same chapel discovered lately under the 
cliffs of the Palatine, near S. Anastasia, all encrusted with marine shells." 



Faustulus the shepherd, in which Romulus and Remus had found 
shelter and food and received their early education. History 
shows that down to the middle of the fourth century after Christ 
the hut had been preserved in its primitive shape by the periodi- 
cal renewal of its thatched roof and wooden framework. The 
foundations of this " memorial " are still in existence. They are 
made of blocks of yellowish granular tufa, and form a parallelo- 
gram 30 feet long, 17 feet wide. When first discovered in 1872 


the parallelogram was perfect ; but the quality of the tufa is so soft, 
and the blocks are so easily disintegrated by atmospheric agencies, 
that it will soon disappear, unless protected by a roof. The 
above cut represents a prehistoric hut, modelled from nature by 
an Alban shepherd, about the time of the foundation of Rome. 
It was discovered in the necropolis of Alba Longa by Carnevali 
in 1 817, and it is now owned by Michele de Rossi. 

We might consider this clay hut - urn ^ as a perfect model 
not only of the Casa Romuli (also called Tugurium Faustuli), but 

1 References. — De Rossi, Michele-Stefano — Annali Inst., 1871, p. 242, 
tav. V. Pigorini and Lubbock — Notes on Hut-urns, p. 11. Ancient Rome, 
chap. i. 


also of the other Casa Romuli on the Capitol, sacred to his memory 
as a hero and demi-god, of the focus of Vesta, of the chapels of 
the Argaei, and of other such prehistoric dwellings, which are 
all described as viinine texti^ stipula tecH^ and made de can?ia 
straminibusqiie. Their type was never forgotten : in the inscrip- 
tions of Leila Marnia in Africa a tomb in the shape of a casa or 
tugurium is called Doinus Romula. (See Corpus^ viii. p. 1123.) 

The foundations of the Casa Romuli are surrounded by other 
remains of the Kingly period which cannot be identified. There 
is a square mass of stones, with a gutter around the base, which 
may possibly mark the site of the fifth sacrarium of the Argaei. 
(See Fig. 49.) 

References. — Scheidewin — Philologus, vol. i. p. 82. Preller, Ludwig — 
Die. Rcgionen, p. 180. Cipolla, Francesco — Rivista di Filologia, 1878, p. 47. 
Jordan, Yi€mx\c\i~Hernies, vii. p. 196 ; and Topographic, i. p. 292. Momm- 
sen, Theodor — Hermes, xiii. p. 527. De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Piante di 
Roma, p. 4. Richter, Otto — Topographie, p. 100. NotizieScavi, 1896, p. 291. 

XII. The old Stone Quarries. — An underground passage 
between the temple of Jupiter Propugnator and the palace 
of Domitian, which can be entered by a slope under the coffee- 
house of the Farnese gardens, gives access to a network of 
tufa quarries extending over an acre. They cannot be explored 
now on account of their dangerous state, but I remember going 
over them in every direction when they were first discovered 
in 1867. The section which runs under the temple of Jupiter 
is comparatively recent, and must have been excavated by 
a vignaiuolo before the laying out of the Farnese gardens, or 
when these were again put under cultivation in the first half of last 
century. The section approaching the house of Germanicus and 
Tiberius is very ancient, perhaps contemporary with the first 
colonisation of the hill. There is something impressive and 
solemn in the aspect of these old lautumiae, which at a later 
period were turned into a water-tank. There were several wells 
communicating with the ground above, but only one is kept open, 
at the turn of the street called (probably) Victoria Germafticiana. 
The puteal or mouth of the well is of modern restoration ; the shaft 
is ancient and lined with slabs of Alban stone, with holes to make 
the descent into the reservoir easy. A conical heap of terra-cotta 
ex-votos was found at the bottom of this well. This find reminded 
us at the time of the passage of Frontinus : " In the present 
abundance of water (brought to Rome by eleven aqueducts) 
we have not forgotten the historical springs from which drank 


our forefathers " (fontium memoria cum sanctitate adhuc extat et 
colitur), Suetonius says that under Augustus " omnes ordines," all 
classes of citizens, threw ex-votos into the well of Juturna. The 
Fontiiialia^ or feast of springs, was celebrated in Rome on October 
13th. (Another well has been found, July loth, 1896.) 

There are in this public space of ground two more monuments, 
independent of the palace of the Caesars, which, although raised 
long after the Kingly period, must be described before we enter the 
Imperial grounds — the temple of the Great Mother of the Gods, 
and that of Jupiter Propugnator. 

XIII. Aedes Magnae Deum Matris (temple of Cybele). — 
Livy (xxxvi. 35) relates that during the second Punic war in 
206 B.C. an embassy was sent by the Senate to Pessinus, after 
consulting the Sibylline books, which brought back to Rome a 
famous relic, called (by Servius, Aen.^ vii. 188) the aais Matris 
Dcmn. This was a small meteoric stone of siliceous texture, 
brown in colour, pyramidal in shape, set, instead of the face, in a 
silver statue of Cybele. Great was the veneration of the Romans 
for this image, and a temple was raised in its honour in 192 B.C., 
rebuilt by Augustus in A.D. 3 after a fire. The phrase "aedem 
Matris Magnae in Palatio feci," which Augustus uses in his auto- 
biography, has been interpreted as if the temple was in the opposite 
part of the hill called strictly Palatium, but we must remember 
that the autobiography was written long after the name had been 
assigned to the whole tenth region. 

llie most noticeable event in the history of the sanctuary is 
the sacrilege committed by Heliogabalus, who removed to his 
own private chapel the great object of popular worship. (See 
Ancient Rome, p. 127.) The description which Herodianus gives 
of it is identical with that of Servius. "The stone," he says, "is 
large, shaped as a cone, and black in colour. People think it a 
stone fallen from heaven," etc. When Bianchini excavated in 
1725-30 the Imperial chapel or lararium, he found "a stone nearly 
three feet high, conical in shape, of a deep brown colour, like a 
piece of lava, and ending in a sharp point." I have no doubt 
that it was the celebrated " needle of Cybele." No attention was 
paid to the find. 

The last mention we have of the Great Mother of the Gods 
belongs to the end of the fourth century, when Nicomachus 
Flavianus and a few surviving champions of polytheism tried to 
stir up the old popular superstitions. During the revolution 


against Theodosius II., which ended with the defeat of Eugenius, 
September 7th to 9th, 394, Nicomachus and his followers indulged 
in the most fanatic display of long-forgotten pagan superstitions, 
like the Isia^ the Floraha^ the Ltistrmn^ and the Megalesia^ the 


mysterious worship of Cybele. After being baptized in blood, they 
carried through the main streets of the city the chariot of the 
goddess with lions of solid silver. 

It is not certain whether the temple, the scattered remains of 
which appear in Fig. 49, belongs to the Great Mother of the Gods, 
because its columns and entablature are of Alban stone (peperino) 


coated with stucco, and therefore cannot presumably be the work 
of Augustus, who used only marble. I do not dare to express 
any definite opinion on the subject, because there are other circum- 
stances in favour of the supposition which must be taken into 
consideration. The first is the discovery made in January 1872, 
near the pronaos of the temple, of a semi-colossal statue of the 
goddess (Fig. 51). The statue is headless, but has been identified 
by means of the " suppedaneum " or footstool which the ancients 
gave to Cybele as a symbol of the stability of the earth. The 
second is the discovery of several altars inscribed with her name, 
made at various times in this part of the Farnese gardens. The 
one marked No. 496 in vol. vi. of the Corpus htscr. was raised at 
the expense of three attendants of the temple, named Onesimus, 
Olympias, and Briseis. A second. No. 3702, came to light in 
1873 near the south wall of the temple. (See also the inscrip- 
tion, No. 5 1 3, belonging to a statue offered to the goddess by Virius 
Marcarianus, and the fragment Notizie Scavi, 1896, p. 186.) 

There are about sixty fragments of columns, capitals, entabla- 
ture, and pediment lying scattered in confusion, which, if properly 
put together in their former position, as Huelsen has done in 
design {Mittheilungen^ 1895, pp. 10-22), would make this temple 
one of the most beautiful ruins of the Palatine. The foundation- 
walls of the cella and pronaos are still intact. The statue itself is 
lying aside, in a slanting position. 

There is a valuable marble in the Capitoline museum connected 
with the history of the temple, viz. an altar with bas-reliefs represent- 
ing the ship on which the goddess came from Pessinus to Rome, 
and the Vestal Claudia Quinta hauling it up the Tiber, with her 
infula tied to the prow. There is written underneath: Matri Deuin 
et Ahivi-Salviae voto siiscepto^ Claudia Syftthycke d{ono) ^(edit). 
MafTei and Preller think that the surname of Navisalvia was given 
to the Vestal Claudia because she had brought the ship safely to 
her moorings ; Orelli and Mommsen attribute it to the ship herself 
(Navis Salvia), or rather to her protecting Genius (see Corpus^ n. 
495). The altar can be seen in the galleria of the Capitoline 
museum, where it is used as. a pedestal to the statue No. 25 
(Jupiter found at Antium). 

Greek and Greco-Roman artists have always given Cybele a 
type of majestic beauty. One of the finest representations of the 
merciful goddess, "who gave fruitfulness alike to men and beasts 
and vegetation," was discovered not long ago at Formiae (Mola 
di Gaeta), together with the remains of her temple of the Ionic 



order. The statue, which would have formed the pride of the 
Naples museum, has been allowed to migrate to foreign lands. 


When I stood before her the first time, and felt the influence of 
her wonderful beauty, I easily understood why she remained a 
favourite deity to the very end of pagan worship in Rome. I am 


sure it will please my readers to become acquainted with this 
wonderful work of art, known only to a privileged few. 

References. — Cancellieri, Francesco — Le sette cose fata li, Rome, 1812, 
p. 22. Visconti e Lanciani — Guida del Palatino, Roma, 1873, pp. 29, 134. 
Mommsen, Theodor — Res gestae divi Augusti, 2nd ed. 1883, p. 82. Huelsen, 
Q\\x\'~X\2iX\.— Utitersuchunge7i zur topographie des Palatins, in Mittheilungen, 
1895, P- 3- Ancie?it Rome, p. 126. 

XIV. Aedes Iovis Propugnatoris in Palatio (temple of 
Jupiter Propugnator),- — Between the house of Germanicus and the 
Nymphaeum of the house of Domitian stands the platform of a 
temple, the mass of which is built of concrete with chips of tufa 
and silex, enclosed in a frame of opus quadratum. The temple, 
which is 44 metres long, 25 wide, faces the south-west, but not a 
fragment of its decorations has escaped the cinquecento lime- 
burners. Probably it was octostyle peripteral, viz. surrounded by 
a colonnade which had 8 shafts in the front, 16 on the sides. 
Rosa, who discovered the platform in 1867, identifies it with the 
temple of Jupiter Victor, a memorial building of the victory gained 
by the Romans over the Samnites in 294 B.C. We prefer to see 
in it the temple of Jupiter Propugnator, connected with the 
residence (schola collegii) of a priesthood ranking in nobility 
with that of the Quindecemviri, of the Arvales, and other 
kindred religious corporations, of which the Emperor was a 
de iure member. The remains of a building in opus quadratum 
of the late Republic, remarkably suited for the use of a schola, 
have actually been discovered side by side with the temple itself. 

Many fragments of the fasti cooptatio7itun^ or registers of the 
elections to this priesthood, have been found — not in situ, however, 
but employed, after the prohibition of pagan worship, in the 
restoration of the pavements of the basilica JuHa and of the 
Senate-house. (See Corpus^ n. 2004, 2009, etc.) They are all 
worded this way : "In the year nine hundred and forty-two of 
Rome (a.d. 190)," for instance, "under the consulships of the 
Emperor Commodus, for the sixth time, and of Petronius Septimi- 
anus, on the i 5th day of October, in the temple of Jupiter Pro- 
pugnator on the Palatine, Lucius Attidius Cornelianus has been 
elected." Sometimes they add the name of the deceased member 
whose place was vacant : " Claudius Paternus cooptatus in locum 
Attidi Corneliani vita functi " (a.d. 198). 

On the top of the steps of the temple there is a fragment of 
an altar inscribed with the words : " Domitius Calvinus, son of 
Marcus, high-priest, consul for the second time and (victorious) 


general (has built or repaired or ornamented this- building, or 
raised this monument) with the spoils of war." (See Epheineris 
eptgrapkka, 1872, p. 215.) 

Cneus Domitius Calvinus, consul in 53 and 40 B.C., is the 
gallant general of Julius Caesar who led the centre at the battle 
of Pharsalos. Later he carried on a successful campaign in Spain, 
for which he was rewarded with the triumph in 36 B.C. With the 
spoils of war — aurum coronarium — he restored the Regia by the 
house of the Vestals, as related by Dion Cassius (xlviii, 42). The 
altar, therefore, has nothing to do with the temple of Jupiter 
Propugnator, having been found in January 1868 at some distance 
from it, in the excavations of the forum Palatinum. It ought to 
be put back in its place by the Regia. The four pieces of fluted 
stone columns placed by Rosa at the top of the stairs belong 
likewise to another edifice, perhaps to the temple of Cybele. 
Pirro Ligorio pretends to have seen a fragment of the colossal 
statue of the god, measuring 8 feet from shoulder to shoulder. 
It was sold by Cristoforo Stati to a stonecutter named Leonardo 
Cieco "per fame opere moderne." His statement (Bodleian MSS., 
p. 138) deserves no credit. 

References. — Corpus Inscr. Lai., vol. vi. p. 450, n. 2004-2009. Becker, 
Adolf — Topographic, p. 422. Preller, Ludwig — Rotn. Mythologie, p. 177. 

XV. DOMUS AUGUSTANA (house of Augustus). — An irregular 
opening made in March 1893 through the left wall of the Stadium 
(Fig. 53, BB) leads — for the time being — into the house of 
Augustus. This newly-cut passage seems to be calculated to 
mislead the visitor at once : it occupies the site of a staircase 
connecting the two floors of the house, the remains of which were 
likewise obliterated in 1893, leaving only the marks of the steps 
against the side walls. The following plan (Fig. 53), although 
defective in two or three points, which cannot be made good unless 
the excavations are completed, will enable the visitor to find his 
way without difficulty. 

The Palatine hill, so near the Forum and the Capitol, the 
centres of Roman political and business life, had always been the 
favourite place of residence with statesmen, eminent lawyers and 
orators, and wealthy citizens in general. Augustus made it the 
seat of the Empire. Born near the east corner of the hill, in the 
lane named ad Capita bubula,i he selected it again as the 

1 "Ox-heads." The tomb of Metella is actually called Capo-di-Bove 
from the ox-skulls of its frieze. The lane where Augustus was born was 
close to the " street of the old Curiae," ad Curias veteres. 



Imperial residence after the victory of Actiuni, which had made 
him master of the world. The ambitious plan was not carried 


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into execution at once. He began, 44 B.C., by purchasing the 
modest house of Hortensius, the orator, the columns and pavements 


of which were of common stone. After the conquest of Egypt in 
28, he bought other property, including the house of CatiHna. 
The Imperial residence was then rebuilt on a larger scale and in 
more becoming style, the whole estate being divided into three 
sections. The first, from the side of the Velia, was occupied by 
the propylaia, the temple of Apollo, the portico of the Danaids, 
and the Greek and Latin libraries ; the middle section by the 
shrine of Vesta ; the last, on the side of the Circus, by the 
Imperial house. 1 This magnificent set of buildings was crowded 
with the masterpieces of Greek, Tuscan, and Roman art, as 
minutely described in Ancient Rome^ p. 109. The building of 
a shrine of Vesta near the house was a necessity of State, since 
Augustus had been elected pontifex maximus after the death of 
Aemilius Lepidus in 12 B.C. On this occasion the old ponti- 
fical palace was presented to the Vestals, to increase the 
accommodation provided by their own. 

The domus Augustana was destroyed by the fire of Nero, with 
the exception of the room in which the founder of the Empire had 
slept for forty years. It was rebuilt by Domitian towards A.D. 85, 
never to suffer any more by the violence of man or at the hand of 
Time, until the vandal hand of the abbe Rancoureuil ruined it in 
1775. The temple of Apollo and its libraries were destroyed in 
the night, between the 18th and 19th of March, A.D. 363, the 
fury of the flames being such that only the Sibylline books were 
saved from the wreck. We hear no more of the monumental 
group until the time of fra Giocondo da Verona (f i 520), when the 
beautiful ruins, set in their frame of evergreens, began to attract 
the attention of architects and archaeologists. Dosio, Palladio, 
Heemskerk, Ligorio, Panvinio have left important memoranda of 
the state of the " palazzo maggiore " in the sixteenth century. 
Palladio mistook the palace for a public bath — terme di palazzo 
maggiore — but his plan is none the less important. I found 
it in the Burlington- Devonshire collection and published it in 
the Mittheilungen of 1894, plates i.-iii. Comparing the various 
accounts, maps, drawings, sketches, acts of notaries, etc., of 
the cinquecento, we gather the following information :■ — 

The ground occupied by the Augustan buildings belonged, 

^ Phoebus hahet partem : Vestae pars altera cessit — quod super est illis, 
tertius ipse tenet (Ovid, Fast., iv. 951). References for the temple of Apollo 
and the portico of the Danaids : Lanciani, Rodolfo — // teynpio di Apolline 
palatino, in Bull. arch, com., vol. xi. 1883, p. 185, pi. 17; a.n6. Ancient Rome, 
p. 109. Huelsen, Christian, Mittheilungen, 1888, p. 296 ; and 1895, p. 28. 


towards the middle of the sixteenth century, half to Alessandro 
Colonna, half to Cristoforo Stati. Duke Paolo Mattei purchased 
both properties about 1560. We do not know whether Aless. 
Colonna had searched the ground : the two other gentlemen did. 
They came across (and destroyed) the propylaia, described by 
PHny (xxxvi. 4, 10); the portico of the Danaids, described by 
Propertius (ii. 31): and the temple of Vesta. No mention is 
made of the temple of Apollo, unless we can consider as such 
the notice given by Pietro Sante BartoH {Memorie^ n. 7) of the 
discovery of a hiding-place inlaid with precious stones, where the 
Sibylline books were probably kept. The portico of the Danaids 
numbered fifty-two columns of giallo antico, many of which have 
been recovered from time to time, probably because they were 
considered unfit for the lime-kiln. "On October 29th, 1664," 
says an eye-witness, " in the gardens of duke Mattei, a portico 
was discovered of extraordinary richness, with columns of giallo 
antico, and two bas-reliefs representing Romulus, the Wolf, the 
Lupercal, Faustulus, the Tiber, and other subjects connected with 
the foundation of Rome." Winckelmann speaks of two other 
panels representing Daedalos and Ikaros, and a young Satyr 
drinking from a cup. A fifth, described by Matz, represents 
Theseos and the Minotaur, a sixth Ulysses and Diomedes. 

In 1728 count Spada, who had bought the villa from the 
Matteis, discovered seven rooms "ornamented with precious 
marbles, gilt metal, stucco bas-reliefs on a golden ground, and 
arabesques. In one of the rooms, which was used for bathing 
purposes, there was a marble cathedra, and a basin of lead before 
it. The two columns of oriental alabaster, which stood on each 
side of the cathedra, were removed to the chapel of prince 
Odescalchi in the church of SS. Apostoli." Count Spada found 
also "several broken statues of marble and bronze." 

In 1825 Charles Mills found another column of giallo 2-25 
metres long, lying on a marble pavement, at a depth of 1-56 
metre. Other pieces of fluted shafts of giallo came to light in 
1869 and 1877, in the excavations of the so-called Stadium, where 
they had rolled down from the portico, together with the eighteen 
or twenty torsoes of the Danaids described by Flaminio Vacca 
{Mem., 77). 

In March 1849 colonel Robert Smith, who had succeeded 
Charles Mills in the ownership of the grounds, destroyed a portion 
of the PVLVINAR (see Fig. 53), to make room for a carriage-road 
between the gate on the via de' Cerchi and the Casino. In the 


same year he discovered the drain connecting the area Apollinis 
with the main sewer of the vaUis Murcia. 

The blame for having destroyed to a great extent the 
house of Augustus rests with the Frenchman Rancoureuil, who 
excavated the villa Spada in 1775, and sold even the bricks and 
stones of the historical sanctuary to a stonecutter in the Campo 
Vaccino named Vinelli. I have heard it related that the abbe 
was so anxious to keep his proceedings secret, that besides pre- 
venting any one from seeing the excavations by daylight (except 
his friend Barberi), he kept a fierce mastiff to watch the place 
at night. Roman archaeologists, however, did not give up the 
contest, and a young man named Benedetto Mori, an assistant 
of Piranesi, volunteered to sketch the plan of the ruins coute que 
coute. He began by making advances to the dog, tempting him 
with food, until after many nocturnal meetings the two became 
so friendly that the beast helped the architect to accomplish his 
mission. It appears from his designs — although rather imperfect 
— that tliQ front of the palace followed the curve of the Pulvinar or 
state balcony from which the games of the Circus were seen, and 
that there were five windows on either side of the entrance door. 
This door was still visible in 1829, but it is concealed now by 
the gardener's house. Inside the building first came the atrium 
(A), with a colonnade on each side, giving access to apart- 
ments of elaborate shape and design ; farther on was the court of 
honour, with a peristyle of 56 fluted marble columns of the Ionic 
order, on which opened other private apartments. One of the 
most elegant chambers was the sterquilinium (CC), with three 
recesses supported by finely- carved brackets. Its pavement 
and walls were encrusted with polychrome marbles ; of marble 
also were the water-pipes connected with the basins. The lead 
pipes found in other parts of the building bore the name of 
Domitian. No trace seems to have been found of the tower 
or " belvedere " named Syracuse or tcxvo^vov, to which Augustus 
retired when worn with the care of governing the world. From 
this locus in edito^ as Suetonius calls it, he must have watched day 
by day the transformation of the capital, which he had found built 
of bricks and wanted to leave a city of marble. Just opposite the 
west windows of the palace his friend L. Cornificius was rebuild- 
ing with great magnificence the old federal temple of Diana on 
the Aventine, and Augustus himself the three temples of Minerva, 
Juno Regina, and Jupiter Libertas on the same hill. Turning to 
the other points of the horizon, he could see the transformation of 


the campus Martius made by Agrlppa and by himself, the portico 
and temple Herculis Musamm built by Marcius Philippus, the 
Atrium Libertatis by Asinius Pollio, the temple of Saturn by 
Munatius Plancus, a theatre and a portico by Cornelius Balbus, 
an amphitheatre by Statilius Taurus, and scores of other edifices, 
masterpieces of architecture and museums of fine arts. 

Of the domus Augustana nothing except a few bare walls is 
left standing, and three underground rooms of graceful design, 
marked DDD in the plan above. The shimmering light which 
falls through masses of ivy from an opening in the middle of the 
ceilings makes these ruins very picturesque. As a contrast to the 
loneliness of the spot, there is above our heads an artistic gem of 
the cinquecento, a small portico designed and painted by Raffaellino 
del Colle. The subjects of the graceful frescoes are : Cupid show- 
ing the arrow to Venus ; Venus lacing her sandals ; Jupiter in the 
form of a Satyr pursuing Antiope ; and other such mythological 
scenes. The frescoes, injured by neglect, were restored by 
Camuccini in 1824 at the expense of Charles Mills. 

It is probable that the works of art, discovered at various 
times in the adjoining Stadium, have fallen there from the 
domus Augustana and from the portico of the Danaids 
(see § xxii.) 

The two columns of alabaster found in 1728 have been used 
in the decoration of the Odescalchi chapel. The two bas-reliefs 
symbolic of the foundation of Rome {Momimenia Matlheiana, vol. 
iii. pis. 37 and 45) are now set into the wall of the courtyard of 
the palazzo Mattei. The third, with Daedalos and Ikaros (Winckel- 
mann, Monum. inediti, n. 95), belongs to the villa Albani ; the 
fourth, with the young Satyr (Visconti, Mtcseo Pio Clement^ vol. 
iv. pi. 31), to the Galleria dei candelabri. The fifth, of Theseos 
and the Minotaur, is broken in two, one part belonging to the 
British Museum {Ancient Marbles^ xi. 48), one to the museo 
delle Terme in Rome. The latter also owns the sixth panel, 
with the figures of Ulysses and Diomedes. How interesting it 
would be to the student if plaster casts of this unique set of 
panels were exhibited in the place to which the originals belong ! 
The capital of the Corinthian order with the acanthus leaves 
bending from right to left (Guattani, Monmn. ined., vol. ii. 1785, 
p. 94, tav. ii. fig. 6) is now in England. The exquisite frieze 
of the sterquilinium was divided between the architect Barberi 
and the Venetian ambassador Andrea Memmo. One of the two 
Ledae discovered by Rancoureuil went to England, and the Apollo 


Sauroktonos, discovered by the same, was purchased by Pius 
VI. for the museo Vaticano (Galleria delle statue, No. 264). The 
Apollo Citharoedos by Scopas, which stood in the temple, between 
the images of Latona and Diana, is represented in some brass 
medals of the time of Augustus; there are also several reproductions 
in marble. The one (No. 516) in the hall of the Muses was found 
in 1774 in the Pianella di Cassio near Tivoli. A second replica 
(No. 495 in the same hall), known as " Bacchus in Female Attire," 
and very much restored, was removed from the villa Negroni. 
There is a third subject in the hall of the Greek Cross (No. 582), 
known as the " Muse Erato," which does not deserve the name of 
Apollo Palatinus attributed to it in official catalogues. The last 
replica, discovered in the villa of Quintus Voconius Pollio near 
Marino March 1885, was purchased by Leo XIII., and largely 
restored by Galli. It now occupies the place of the Faun of 
Circaeii, No. 41 Braccio nuovo. 

In all these works of art "Apollo appears in a costume which 
at first sight surprises us. We seem to have before us one of 
those exalted females who were mistresses of the lyre and of 
song, and we require circumstantial evidence to convince us 
that these splendid robes envelop the form of a slender youth." ^ 

References. — Guattani, Giuseppe — Roma descritta cd illustrata, vol. i. 
p. 48, tav. viii.-xiv. ; and Momimefiti inediti , vol. ii. 1785, pp. i and 29. 
Canina, Luigi — Edijizii di Ro7na antica, vol. iv. pi. 108. Deglane, Henry — 
Gazette ArcheoL, 1888, p. 145. Bullettino arch. com. , vo\. xi. 1883, p. 185. 
Visconti e Lanciani — Guida del Palatino, Roma, 1873, PP- 33 ^"^ 98. 
Lanciani, Rodolfo — Pagan and Christian Rome, chap. v. ; and II palazzo 
maggiore, in Mittheilungen, 1894, pp. 3-36. 

XVI. DOMUS TiBERiANA (house of Tiberius), Fig. 54. — 
We now cross the valley which separated, before Domitian's 
time, the house of Augustus from the Cermalus, and visit the 
wing of the Imperial residence which owes its existence to 
Tiberius and Caligula. This part is not yet laid bare, the under- 
ground floor alone having been made accessible here and there. 
As we have observed in the introductory remarks, the substructures 
are most irregular in their plan, because they were intended to 
serve but one purpose : to support an artificial platform upon which 
the palace was built on its own independent design. At the same 
time we must acknowledge that the irregularity of the substructures 
is less apparent here than in any other section of the hill, so that 
we can almost foresee what would be the general outline of the 
1 Braun, Emil — Ruins and Museums, p. 236. 



domus Tiberiana and of the domus Gaiana if the Hving apartments 
were laid bare. The two buildings now form a rectangle i 50 metres 
long, 1 1 5 metres wide, limited by the forum Palatinum on the 
south, by the area containing the prehistoric monuments on the 
west, by the clivus Victoriae on the north and east. It contains 
the following places of interest : (XIV) the domus Tiberiana ; (XV) 
the house of Germanicus ; (XVI) the wing added by Caligula, 
which we shall call domus Gaiana ; (XVII) the forum Palatinum, 
a public square between the palaces of Caligula and Domitian. 
Apropos of the last-named place, the reader must remember that 
the Imperial buildings of the Palatine did not form a mass in- 
accessible to the public, like the Vatican palace and gardens of 
the present day : the hill was crossed by streets and passages, 
through which the citizens could probably circulate without restric- 
tion at all hours of the day. The gates with which these streets 
and passages are provided were probably closed at night, and a 
guard posted by them.^ This is certain for the porta Romanula 
and the clivus Victoriae, and for the grand State entrance in front 
of Domitian's palace ; it is probable for the steps of Cacus, at 
the top of which the jambs of a travertine gate are still to be 
seen. For other streets of access to the Palatine we must await 
the results of further excavations. 

Tiberius Claudius Nero, father of the Emperor, owned a modest 
house (XV) on the Palatine, which afterwards came into the posses- 
sion of Germanicus. Tiberius the Emperor raised a noble palace 
next to it, known in classic documents as the domus Tiberiana. 
It formed a square, the south side of which opened on the street 
called "Victoria germaniciana," whilst the west towered above the 
valley of the Velabrum at the height of 50 metres, the north touched 
the temple of Victory and Caligula's palace, and the east opened 
on the forum Palatinum. 

Tacitus {Hist., i. 27) says that Otho, wishing to join the con- 
spirators against the life of Galba, who were about to meet in the 
Forum, descended to the Velabrum through the domus Tiberiana 
(probably by the steps of Cacus, or by one of the private stairs 
which are still to be seen behind the gardener's house and the 
walls of Romulus). The same historian describes Vitellius glutting 
himself in the banqueting-room of the palace, while his partisans, 
who were fighting against Flavins Sabinus, had set the Capitol 

^ At the time of Caligula's murder the watch at the main gate was probably 
kept by the Germani corporis custodes (Suetonius, 58). There were also porters 
[janitores) assisted by a watch-dog (Suetonius, Vitellius, 16). 



ablaze. The fire could be seen from the Imperial table. On 
receiving the news of his defeat, which left no hope for his crown 
or for his life, he rushed to the Aventine per aversam partem 
palatii^ viz. by the same steps which Otho had descended a few 
months before. 

The great attraction of the palace was the library, bibliotheca 
Tiberiana, which seems to have contained State papers and docu- 
ments more than books. The passage of Dion Cassius about the 
fire of Commodus very probably refers to it : " The flames pervaded 
the palace with such suddenness and force that nearly all the 
registers and records of the Empire were lost." 

The only portion now visible is the arched substructures of 
the south front, with a row of cells very poorly lighted, ventilated, 
and ornamented (see Fig. 49). They must have been occupied 
by soldiers or 
slaves. One 
of them (A), 

^""^ wiqs 


:rr-- "v^^; 

i\i'/^'l (53> 


wooden railing, 

is very rich in graffiti, lately published 
and explained by prof. Correra in Bu//. 
arch, com.^ 1894, p. 95, plates 2-4. 
There are many names, followed by 
the specification castre(«)sis, "from 
the praetorian camp," or miles, "sol- 
dier." One of them writes in tolerably 
good Greek, " Many have written many 
things on this wall, I nothing " ; to 
which another hand subscribes " Bravo !" 
Perhaps the most curious graffito is a 
rough sketch of the head of Nero made 
by a soldier named Tullius Romanus. 

Rough sketches and bona-fide cari- 
catures of Imperial heads are not un- 
known on the Palatine. One was found 
in March 1876 by an English lady, 
graffito on a slab of giallo antico with 
the semi-barbaric legend CAXIR NERO 
{Nero Caesar)^ the work of one of the Teutonic body-guard.^ 
This also is a specimen of the artistic propensities of another 
soldier, who perhaps had just seen the Emperor walking in front 
^ Published in facsimile, Bull. arch, com., 1877, p. 166. 



of the corps-de-garde of the domus Tiberiana. Several officers 
from the domus Tiberiana are recorded in Roman epitaphs : a 
Belambelus acuarius, or plumber {Corpus^ n. 8653); an Albanus 
a supelectile, or keeper of plate (n. 8654) ; a Jucundus vilicus, or 
caretaker (n. 8655); etc. 

XVII. House of Germanicus (n. XV. Fig. 54).— This 
beautiful edifice was discovered in the spring of 1869, and I 
well remember the excitement created among artists and archae- 
ologists by the appearance of its celebrated paintings. It is the 
only Roman private house now existing, the one discovered by 
Azara in the villa Montalto, near the present railway station, having 
been destroyed in 1777, and its paintings cut away from the walls 
and sold to Lord Bristol.^ 

The house has but one entrance (B), not from the streets, which 
go round three sides of it, but from the cryptoporticus of the palace 
of Tiberius and Caligula, in which the murder of the latter took 
place on January 24th, A.D. 41. The historians who describe the 
event say that the murderers, not daring to retrace their steps for 
fear of the guards posted at the main entrance by the Velia, ran 
away in the opposite direction and concealed themselves in the 
house of Germanicus. This statement leaves no doubt as to the 
identity of the building, which besides abounds in hiding-places, 
crypts, and underground passages running in the direction of the 
house of Augustus. The intense love felt by the Romans for the 
unhappy prince, and the veneration for his memory which lasted 
for centuries, explains the reason why this house alone, among so 
many public and private buildings, altars, shrines, temples, palaces, 
etc., destroyed by the Caesars, was kept as a national relic down to 
the fall of the Empire. Evidence of the care taken of, and of 
repairs made on, the house from time to time is to be found in the 
legends of its water-pipes. One bears the name ivliae-avg 
(Julia, the daughter of Titus, or Julia Domna) ; the second, 
DOMITIANI CAESAR/j- AYGustij the third has the name of a 
plumber, l^ucius PESCENNIVS EROS, probably a contemporary of 
Septimius Severus. 

The fore portion of the house, sunk below the level of the 

1 The house discovered by Azara was illustrated by : Uggeri, Angelo — 
Iconogj-afia degli edifizi di Roma antica, vol. iii, pis. 14-17, p. 53 ; vol. ii. 
pi. 24. Mengs, Raffaele, e Buti, Camillo — Pitture trovate V a?ino ijjj nella 
villa Negroni. 13 plates. Massimi, Camillo — Notizie della villa Massimi, 
Roma, 1836, p. 214. Canina, Luigi — Edifizi di Roma antica, vol. iv. tav. 


street, is built of reticulated work with small prisms of yellowish 
tufa. The angles and arches are of the same material, without 
any mixture of bricks — a style of masonry which came into fashion 
towards the end of the Republic. Like all Roman private residences, 
it is divided into two sections : one for the reception of friends and 
clients, one for domestic use. We enter the first by an inclined 
vestibule paved with fine mosaic. The atrium (C) was probably 
testiidinatiun^ viz. covered by a roof with no impluvium in the 
centre. The pavement is of fine mosaic ; and there are remains 
of the altar of the domestic gods (D). Three halls open on the 
side opposite the vestibule ; the first on the left (E), damaged by 
the sinking of the outer wall, has some good decorative panels 
divided by slender columns, with ivy and vines woven around 
their shafts. 

The central hall or tablinum (F) has a similar decoration of 
composite columns, but the panels contain frescoes far superior 
to the others in interest, design, and execution. They have been 
reproduced many times and by various processes by Rosa, Perrot, 
and the German Institute ; the best copies in facsimile, made at 
the time of the discovery by M. Layraud, were presented by 
Napoleon III. to the Library of the l^cole des Beaux Arts. 

The one in the back wall represents Polyphemos the giant, 
half merged in the waters of the sea, who, having crushed his 
rival Akis under a heavy rock, turns toward Galatea with an 
expression of cruelty mingled with tenderness. The Nymph 
glides over the water on the back of a sea-horse, followed by 
two Nereids. The passion by which the giant was mastered is 
represented by a Cupid, who stands upright on his left shoulder 
and guides him with a ribbon. 

On the right, and above the frieze, there is a smaller panel 
representing a scene of private initiation. The picture which 
follows, on turning to the right wall, belongs to the landscape 
order, and shows a street scene with houses many storeys high 
on either side. A woman, followed by her attendant, knocks at 
one of the doors, and four or five figures appear at the windows 
or on the balconies to make sure who is seeking for admittance. 
The second small panel, above the frieze, seems to indicate the 
preparations for a domestic sacrifice. 

The last and best picture pertains to the myth of lo, loved 
by Jupiter and persecuted by Juno. The fair daughter of Inachos 
is kept prisoner in the sacred wood by Mykenai, and sits at the 
foot of a pillar surmounted by the image of the jealous goddess. 


The all-seeing Argos, armed with lance and sword, gazes intently 
at the girl in his custody. Behind the rock, on which he is 
leaning with the right elbow. Mercury appears to advance 
cautiously, waving the caduceus as a symbol of his mission from 
the father of the gods for the deliverance of lo. The name 
EPMH2 is written in white letters under the Messenger's feet, 
and there is no doubt that the other personages were likewise 
indicated by their proper names 112, APFOS. 

The dining-room or triclinium (G) opens on the west side of 
the court. Its frescoes have suffered very much from exposure 
and damp, the apartment being sunk 4 metres below the street. 
The walls have been found coated with flange tiles, with 
the rims turned inwards, so as to leave a free space for the 
circulation of air and evaporation of moisture. A curious vase 
of glass filled with fruit is painted above the entrance door. The 
panels have a vermilion ground, except two which show fanciful 
groups of birds, animals, trees, etc., on a white surface, the work 
of a very inferior artist. 

Admittance to the inner (and higher) rooms is gained by a 
narrow wooden staircase (H) on the west side of the atrium, 
near the door of the triclinium ; but they hardly deserve a visit, 
having been despoiled of every bit of ornamentation. 

References. — Rosa, Pietro — Pla7t et peintures de la maison faternelle de 
Tibh'e, s.l. Lanciani e Visconti — Guida del Palatino, Roma, Bocca, 1873, 
p. 132. Perrot, Georges — Mimoires d arcMologie, Paris, Didier, 1875, P- 74- 
(Les peintures du Palatin. ) Middleton, J. H. — The Remaijis of Ancient 
Rome, vol. i. p. 175. Monumentl dell Instituto, vol. xi. pis. 22, 23. 

XVIII. DOMUS Gaiana (house of Caligula), n. XVI. Fig. 54. 
— Suetonius {Calig.^ 22) and Dion Cassius (lix. 28 ; Ix. 6) say that 
Caligula extended the Imperial palace ad Fortivi usque ^ as far 
as the Forum, making use of the temple of Castor and Pollux 
for a vestibule. He must have thus occupied and built over 
the ground once covered by the houses of Clodius, Cicero, and 
other wealthy citizens (described § ii.), and crossed by the clivus 
Victoriae. The front of the palace opened on the Nova via, 
towering above its pavement to the height of 1 50 feet. This 
fagade is represented in its present ruinous state by the following 
plate (Fig. 56). 

Starting from the foreground — the clivus sacer by the arch 
of Fabius Allobrogicus — we first see the house of the Vestals, 
with the statues of the priestesses lining the south side of the 
peristyle ; and above it the Nova via, by which the house was 




separated from Caligula's palace. The whole mass of arched 
masonry which rises above the street, and which appears crowned 

by a clump of ilexes, represents only the substructures built by 
Caligula to raise the slope of the hill to a le\el with its summit. 


The palace itself, with its State apartments and halls and 
porticoes, began where the ruins actually stop, not a particle 
being left above ground to tell the tale. The substructures, at 
all events, are well worth visiting : we gain by them the true idea 
of the human " fourmiliere " of slaves, servants, freedmen, guards, 
which lived and moved and worked in the substrata of the 
Palatine, serving the Court in silence and almost in darkness. It 
is difficult to understand or to explain how the greater portion of 
these underground dens were lighted and ventilated. I believe 
that, in the original design, they were well provided with such 
essential elements as light and comfort : the cryptoporticus, where 
the murder of Caligula took place, received light from the forum 
Palatinum (n. XVII. Fig. 54) by means of skylights opening under 
each intercolumniation ; the rooms KK had a skyhght in the middle 
of their vaulted ceiling ; and so forth. In progress of time, and on 
the occasion of the repairs and changes which every Emperor 
considered it his duty to make, no regard was paid to the original 
plan : staircases, windows, corridors were condemned, intercepted, 
or closed ; rooms subdivided into two or four partitions ; free spaces 
built over ; and streets turned into dark passages. 

The student's most perplexing labour on the Palatine is to 
single out which parts are architecturally essential and pertain 
to the original plan, and which are later changes deserving no 
consideration. His task is made even more troublesome by 
the fact that all maps of the hill, from that of Zangolini, which I 
published in 1873,1 to the latest of Richter (1889), Middleton 
(1892), and Burns (1895), mark existing remains with the 
same shade of colour, no matter whether they belong to the 
great banqueting-hall of the masters of the world or to a cellar 
sunk deep in the ground. I have tried to avoid the mistake 
in Sheets xxix. and xxxv. of the Forma Urbis^ where only 
the living apartments and public buildings are marked in 
full tint, the substructures and cellars in lighter colour or in 
simple outhne. The results obtained by this process of sifting 
are in many cases remarkable. The following from Caligula's 
house might serve for all. 

The portion of the house which spans the clivus Victoriae is 
designed in guide and topographical books as follows (Fig. 57). 

According to this accepted plan none of the rooms marked 
AA, BB, CC had light or air, the whole space — the street included 
— being vaulted over. Now, as " several rooms . . . are richly 
^ The same as I have made use of in Ancie?ti Rome, pp. 106, 107. 




decorated with a combination of coloured stucco reliefs and 
paintings on the flat, very gorgeous in effect, but almost invisible 
for want of light, except that of lamps," ^ and others have an 
elaborate mosaic floor, as is suitable for rooms inhabited, not by- 
slaves, but by officers of superior rank, we tried to find the proper 
explanation of these facts, but in vain. It came in the most 
satisfactory way when I adopted the system of distinguishing, in 
colour or in outline, the original walls from later additions. 

By glancing at the map designed with this caution. Fig. 58, we see 


F;G. 57.— a corner of the palace of CALIGULA according to ROSA S MAP. 

at once that when the palace was built by Caligula, the apartments 
now plunged in darkness received light and air from a court 32 
metres long, 26 wide, through which passed the clivus Victoriae. 
The rooms on the south-west side opened on a balcony " supported 
on stone corbels carrying a series of arches." These and the 
front of the balcony " are richly decorated with delicate reliefs, 
modelled in stucco, of figures and foliage, once covered with gold 
and coloured decoration, and designed with great skill and 
beauty of effect " (Middleton). The marble railing or parapet is 
an addition by Rosa. 

^ Middleton, i. 194. 



The rooms under the balcony, on a level with the court, were 
used as a corps-de-garde. The walls of the one (now protected 
by a wooden railing) are covered with graffiti. There are names 
like PHILAROMVS, ANNAEVS, APRILIS ; the impression of a coin 
repeated five times ; and the phrase, written perhaps in the hour 
of the siesta in a hot summer day : SOMNVS clavdit ocellos, 
(See BiilL arch, com.^ 1895, P- I95-) 

Another portion of the building, the cryptoporticus, marked 
XVIII. Fig. 54, has been identified beyond any shade of doubt with 
the " solitary and obscure corridor " in which the assassination of 


Caligula took place on January 14th, a.d. 41. The event is 
described at great length on pp. 1 1 7-1 19 of Ancient Rome. 

Near the bend of the cryptoporticus towards the house of 
Germanicus there is an oval basin, which Rosa calls a fish-pond 
(vivaio di pesci). I doubt whether it is ancient, or the work of a 
mediaeval farmer. It marks the place in which the Renaissance 
lime-burners estabhshed their kilns. One of these was discovered 
by Rosa in 1866, filled to the brim with exquisite works of art, 
some of which had by an accident escaped the effects of fire. 
The objects formerly exhibited in the local museo Palatino, 
where they attracted intense interest, and now scattered in 
various rooms of the museo delle Terme, comprise a veiled 




head of the Emperor Claudius ; a head of Nero ; three caryatides 
or canephorai of nero antico, of an archaistic type ; an exquisite 
statue of an ephebos in green basaU, with the arms and lower 
portion of the legs missing ; ^ head of Arpokras ; and several 
fragments of less importance. 

The last place deserving of a visit is the long and well-preserved 
staircase which leads from the clivus Victoriae to the top of the 
ruins, where a charming little grove of evergreens now casts its 
shade. The grove is known in literary history as the first place 
of meeting of the Accademia degli Arcadi. 

The palace, or whatever remained of it in tolerable preservation 
after the barbarian inroads, was taken possession of and some- 
times inhabited by the popes, as a practical evidence of their 
political power in Rome. The palace was put under the care of 
an officer, styled a ciira j)alatii. One of them named Plato, 
whose epitaph was seen by Pietro Sabino in the pavement of the 
church of S. Anastasia, rebuilt or repaired about 680 the „ Ion* 


Staircase which I have just mentioned as descending from the top 
of the ruins to the clivus Victoriae and the porta Romanula. 
His son, having been elected pope in 705 under the name of 
John VII. ,2 conceived the plan of making the palace of the Caesars 
the permanent and official residence of the Bishops of Rome ; and 
accordingly super ecclesiajji sanctae Dei genitricis quae antiqua 
vacatur (above the church of S. Maria Liberatrice) episcopium 
construere voluit^^ and established brick-kilns for the purpose, the 
produce of which is marked with the above stamp (Fig. 59). 

^ The statue has been recently illustrated by F. Hauser in the Mittheilungen 
for 1895, pp. 97-119, pi. I. (Basalt statue vom Palatin). 

2 John VII. was buried in S. Peter's before the altar of the Sudario, which 
he had built and endowed. His portrait, a miniature in a golden ground, is 
given by Giacomo Grimaldi, Cod. Barb., f. 93. 

^ References. — Liber pontijicalis, in Johann. VII., ed. Duchesne, vol. i. 


John VII. did not live to see his project accomplished; his 
successors did not care for it, and they repaired to the convents 
or strongholds of the Palatine only in case of necessity. Celes- 
tinus 11. died in 1144 "apud Palladium" (in the monastery of S. 
Cesario) ; Lucius 1 1, in i 145 "apud ecclesiam S. Gregorii " (in the 
fortress of the Septizonium) ; Eugenius III. was elected pope in 
1 145 "apud monasterium S. Cesarii"; Gregory IX. in 1227 "apud 
septemsolium." They were simply chosen as places of refuge in 
times of popular disorder, which once quelled, the popes resumed 
their habitual residence at the Lateran. 

Caligula's palace has not been excavated since the sack by the 
duke of Parma in 1725-27 ; and we do not know whether there 
are still traces left of the work of John VII. or of his Imperial 

XIX. The Palace of Domitian {oWia Aofxinavov). — 
One of the first thoughts of Vespasian, after his election a.d. 69, 
was to reduce the Imperial residence to its old limits on the 
Palatine, and give back to the people the immense tract of land 
which Nero had usurped for his Golden House. At the same time 
he could not abstain from raising himself a new palace, to be used 
for State receptions and banquets. This great structure, called by 
Nerva aedes piiblicae populi Romania was brought to perfection by 
Domitian, who lavished upon it all the costliest productions of 
contemporary art. Hence Plutarch {Poplic, 15) calls it oiKta 
AoyLtcTiavov, and compares that prince to Midas, who turned into 
gold whatever fell under his touch. See also the eulogy of Statius 
{Sylv., iv. 1 1, 18). It stands between the palaces of Tiberius and 
Caligula on one side, and that of Augustus (with its temples and 
porticoes) on the other, in the line of the valley which runs from 
the arch of Titus to the Circus. The valley was still occupied at 
that time by private mansions, and by one or two shrines ; they 
were not destroyed, but made use of to support the platform on 
which the palace stands. Some of these older buildings are still 
visible, and will be described below. The plan of the palace is 
that of a private Roman house, but it is of a size and magnificence 
becoming the ruler of the world. Little or nothing is known of 
its history ; in fact, it seems to have never required repairs on 

p. 385. De Rossi, G. Battista — Notizie degli Scavi, dicemb. 1883. Lan- 
ciani, Rodolfo — /,' itinerario di Eifisiedehi, p. 63. Duchesne, Louis — 
Bulletin critique, 1885, p. 417, sq.; and Melanges de V Ecole fraufaise de 
Rome, 1896, fasc. ii. Hartmann, Grisar, S. I., in Civiltd Cattol., May 1896. 

H 'alaerfrBoiUaUsc, 



account of the solidity of its construction. The Emperors did 
not hve in it, but held their levees, delivered their judgments, 
presided over councils of State, received foreign envoys, and gave 
official banquets in the various apartments set apart for such 
purposes. The last Emperor seen in the palace was Heraclius, 
whose coronation took place in the throne-room A.D. 629. We 
hear of it again nine centuries later, when the northern half of the 
Palatine was bought by the Farnese. To this family we owe the 
first excavations of the Palatine. They took place in 1536, when 
the avenue now called di S. Gregorio was cut open between the 
Septizonium and Constantine's arch for the triumphal progress of 
Charles V. In the legal deeds for the acquisition of property on 
the hill the Farnese, and above all the glorious cardinal Alessandro, 
always betray their inclination for archaeological discoveries. 
One of them, dated January 17th, 1542, contains these words: 
" Marco Antonio Palosio sells to the cardinal, etc., his vine- 
yard on the Palatine, adjoining that of Virginio da Mantaco, 
with its crypts,, ruins, edifices, marbles, and statues, whether 
visible above ground or covered yet by the accumulation of soil." 
The result of the Farnese excavations is not known ; but con- 
sidering that the front walls of the gardens (destroyed in 1881) 
cut the house of the Vestals right in two, that the Uccelliera 
(now the Ufficio degli Scavi) was founded on Caligula's palace, 
and the Casino (described p. 165) on that of Domitian, something 
of value must certainly have come to light. The only monument 
mentioned by contemporary archaeologists is the pedestal Corpics 
Inscr., vi. 456, which marks approximately the site of the aedes 
Penatium in VeHa. It was discovered near the arch of Titus. 

Three halls open on the front of Domitian's palace : the throne- 
room, aula regia, in the centre ; the chapel, or lararium^ on the left ; 
and a basilica^ or court-room, on the right. The throne-room, built 
of bricks from the kilns of Flavia Domitilla, is 160 feet long, 120 
wide, and was decorated with sixteen columns of pavonazzetto (aa), 
having bases and capitals exquisitely cut in ivory-coloured marble. 
There were three niches on either side for colossal statues or groups, 
and each of them was flanked by smaller columns of porphyry. 
The two statues of black basalt discovered in the adjoining 
basilica in 1724 had been probably removed from these niches. 
On either side of the great door (b), opening on the front portico, 
stood two columns of giallo antico, which the duke of Parma sold 
to the stonecutters Perini and Maciucchi for 3000 scudi. The 


threshold was made of a block of Greek marble so large that the 
high altar of the church of S. M. Rotonda has been cut out of 
it. The throne (c), or augustale solium^ was placed opposite the 
door, in the apse where Bianchini in 1726 set up his mendacious 
praise of Francis I., duke of Parma and Piacenza, the last de- 
stroyer of the Palatine. Bianchini has given the name of lararium, 
or domestic chapel, to the room on the left, on account of the 
altar which he found built against the back wall. The altar, 
which was approached by two flights of stairs, has since been 
demolished. Here took place the remarkable find described in 
Ancient Rome ^ ^. 127. Heliogabalus, according to Herodianus, 
had attempted to collect into the chapel attached to the palace of 
the Caesars the most famous relics of the Roman world — the 
Palladium, the fire of Vesta, the ancilia, and, of course, the acus 
Matris Deum or meteoric stone from Pessinus, described § xiii. 
The stone, it may be remembered, was very large, of conical 
shape, and brown in colour. Monsignore Bianchini, who excavated 
the lararium in 1725, seems to have positively discovered the 
relic. " I am sorry," he says, " that no fragment of statue 
or bas-relief or inscription has been found in the chapel . . . ; 
the only object discovered was a stone nearly three feet high, 
conical in shape, of a deep brown colour, looking very much 
like lava, and ending in a sharp point. I do not know what 
became of it." 

If my surmise is well founded, and the identity between the 
acus Matris Deum and Bianchini's stone probable, if not certain, 
we can better understand the passage of the Vita Heliog.^ iii. 
The templum Heliogabali iiixta aedes i?nperatorias, which he 
mentions, must have been close to the lararium, unless the 
lararium itself was transformed into a temple. 

Behind the chapel is the only staircase (d) yet discovered in 
these apartments. It led to the upper galleries, from which the 
great ceremonies of State could be witnessed by invited guests. 
Another flight of steps, now buried again, leads to the wine-cellars, 
where Bianchini discovered in 1721 rows of amphorae marked 
with the label liqtiamen excellens L. Purelli Gemelli (Bianchini, 
p. 260). The walls of the staircase and those of the room (e) 
were covered with exquisite fresco paintings, of which not a 
square inch has been spared destruction. Fortunately they were 
copied in time by Gaetano Piccini and Francesco Bartoli. Piccini's 
album is to be found now in the museum of the Hofburg, Vienna ; 
Bartoli's plates in the Topham collecticn at Eton. These last 



number 58, of which 16 are of great size. They represent 
campestrian scenes, sacrifices, and Bacchic dances, crowded with 
graceful figures. ^ 

Some of the subjects have also been engraved on copper. 
They are to be found in Cameron's Baths of the Romans from the 
Restorations of Palladio (London, 1772) ; in Morghen's appendix to 
the Pictiirae antiqiiae Cryptarum Romanarum of Bartoli ; and in 
the Collection of A?tcie?it Paintings after the Origijials at Rome, 
with Critical, Historical, and Mythological Observations upon 
them, by George Turnbull, LL.D. (London, 1741, folio, 54 plates). 
When we think that these exquisite specimens of the golden art of 
Domitian's age were found intact in the first quarter of last century, 
under the eyes of such men as cardinal Alessandro Albani, Pier 
Leone Ghezzi, Francesco Bianchini, Francesco Bartoli, and that 
the very walls which they covered were demolished for the sake 
of the bricks, we can indeed ask by what right we continue 
blaming the Middle Ages or the barbarians for deeds which are 
not as disgraceful as those here recorded. 

The hall on the opposite side of the throne-room is thought to 
have been a Basilica, or court-room, where the Prince delivered 
judgment in cases pertaining or submitted to the Crown. There 
are still traces of the suggestum or platform on which sat the 
Imperial judge and his assessors, and of the staircases which led 
to it. The fragment of a marble screen, dividing the apse from 
the space reserved for the audience, and the columns by which 
the hall would be divided into aisles and nave, are " restorations " 
of comm. Rosa, resting on no sufficient evidence. The Basilica 
was excavated for the first time (?) in 1724. There is an account 
of the results in MSS. p. 248 of the Queen's library at Windsor, 
from which we gather that the two colossal statues of Bacchus 
and Hercules in black basalt, now in the Museo at Parma, were 
found lying on the floor on April 20th of the same year. 

Behind the three front halls opens the inner court or peristyle, 
the area of which amounts to 3600 square metres. The columns 
were of porta santa, with columns, capitals, and entablature cut 
in white marble like lace-work. Suetonius says that this was a 
favourite haunt of Domitian, who could walk under the colonnades 
away from the crowd and secure from danger. The biographer 
adds that the side walls had been encrusted with slabs of 

^ See Disegni di antichita nella Biblioteca di S. Maria di Eto?i, in Bull, 
arch, com., 1894, p. 164. Picturae antiquae Cryptamm Romanarum: 
ibidem, 1895, P- ^82. II palazzo Maggiore, in Mittheilungen, 1894, p. 26. 



phengite marble, reflecting images like a mirror, so as to allow 
the Prince to see whatever might take place behind his back. 
The two sides of the peristyle are occupied by a set of nine 
rooms of various shapes, the use of which it is not easy to 
imagine. Considering, however, that the middle room, octagonal 
in shape, forms a vestibule through which personages driving 
to the palace by the forum Palatinum were admitted into it, 
it is obvious that they were used for cloak- and waiting-rooms, 
porter's lodge, etc. 

Before proceeding any farther in our description it is necessary 
to remember that below the halls we have visited, and even below 
the peristyle, there are other splendid apartments, galleries, crypto- 
porticuses, and bathrooms, the existence of which has remained 
unknown to the modern excavators of the Palatine. I only 
discovered it myself in 1892, while examining Bianchini's 
manuscripts in the Biblioteca Capitolare at Verona and the 
Topham collection of drawings at Eton. The subject is so 
curious and new that a few words of explanation will not be 
out of place. 

In 1722 the marchese Ignazio de' Santi, minister of Parma 
to the pope, asked leave for his master, the duke Francis, to 
excavate the Palatine gardens which he had inherited from the 
Farnese. Cardinal Patrizi, in giving consent on behalf of 
Innocent XIII., imposed two conditions: that if the value of 
gold and silver coins, engraved stones, and medals should 
eventually exceed the sum of 10,000 scudi, the pope's 
treasury would share the profits ; secondly, that life-size statues 
and architectural marbles should not be removed from Rome. 
Duke Francesco rebelled against these fair conditions, and his 
agent in Rome gave so much trouble that, on April 4th, 1720, 
cardinal Albani gave him carte blanche to do what he pleased 
on the Palatine. He did not hesitate about it. The acts of 
vandalism committed by this Ignazio de' Santi and his successor 
count Suzzani, with the tacit consent of Monsignore Francesco 
Bianchini, who had been appointed superintendent of the excava- 
tions, have no parallel in the history of the destruction of Rome. 
The words ladronecci i?ifami^ used by Guattani in referring to them, 
are comparatively mild. The prelate was the only one to suffer. 
While he was watching the works one day, the ground gave way 
under his feet, and although the drop was hardly 14 feet, the 
shock was ultimately the cause of his death. His posthumous 
volume, II palazzo dei Cesari, is almost worthless, both in the text 


and in the plates, which an eye-witness of the excavations, Pier 
Leone Ghezzi, denounces as " impostures." The discovery of an 
underground floor is not mentioned nor illustrated by Bianchini, 
and I had to make a pilgrimage to Verona, Eton, and Paris to 
collect information about it.^ Without entering into particulars 
already published in the Mittheihmgeii of 1894, I will merely 
mention the discovery of a bathroom 21-30 metres long, 11-50 
metres deep, the richest and most beautiful apartment, as far as 
we know, in the whole palace of the Caesars. The walls were 
encrusted with "Florentine" mosaic-work in pietra dura, alternating 
here and there with marble bas-reliefs set in a richly carved frame, 
and with niches for statues. A colonnade of porphyry shafts, 
each 2 feet in diameter, ran along three sides of the hall ; while 
on the fourth side five lions' heads of gilt bronze threw jets of 
water into a marble basin. Each fountain was flanked by ten 
columns of porphyry, serpentine, giallo, verde, and pavonazzetto, 
with capitals and bases of gilt bronze. The roof (fragments of 
which lay scattered on the pavement inlaid with crusts of the 
rarest breccias) seems to have been divided into panels, some of 
which contained mythological groups in fresco painting, others 
figurines of white stucco on a heavily gilt ground. 

All these treasures were destroyed in May 1721. An English 
artist, E. Kirkall, who has left two rare coloured prints of this 
hall, says in the footnote : " The plan of Augustus's (Domitian's) 
bath found underground on the east side of the Palatine hill in 
Rome in the year 1721, and barbarously defaced and broken in 
pieces during the conclave of that year, and the broken pieces 
sent to Parma." 

It is to be regretted that this underground portion of Domitian's 
palace, without which we shall never be able to understand the 
working and mechanism of Roman Imperial state life, should be 
still buried under a mass of rubbish. The only rooms now visible 
(under the west wing of the peristyle — very damp and chilly) have 
nothing to do with it : they belong to a private mansion of the 
late Republic, which Domitian left undisturbed because it lay 
below the level of his artificial platform. The discoverers of 
1726 misnamed it the baths of Livia (see Fig. 60). The first room 
at the foot of the (modern) stairs was decorated with arabesques 
and festoons on a ground of gold ; the second with groups of 

^ The memory of the find was lost altogether by the Houses of Parma and 
Naples and by their diplomatic agents in Rome — so much so that in 1835 
another search was made in the same spot, naturally without results. 


figurines on a blue ground ; the ornaments of the ceiHngs were 
also worthy of the golden age of Augustus. Owing to the neglect 
in which this gem of Roman domestic architecture has been kept 
since 1726, the decorations have nearly disappeared. 

The TricHnium, or great state banqueting -hall, opens on the 
south side of the peristyle. Nardini has identified it with the 
lovis cenatio, in which the murder of Pertinax took place, as 
described in the Vita, ch. xi. The biographer says that the three 
hundred rebels from the Praetorian camp entered the palace by 
the vestibule opening on the forum Palatinum, and rushed through 
the locus qui appellatur Sicilia to the lovis cenatio, where they 
met with their Imperial victim. If the lovis cenatio is the name 
of the dining-room, that of Sicilia must belong to the peristyle. 
Nothing remains to tell us how this hall was decorated save two 
fragments of granite columns, of which there must have been 
sixteen. The pavement of the apse, where the table of honour 
was set, is well preserved, but the administration is compelled to 
keep it covered, to save it from frost, rain, and the hands of 
tourists. It is made of crusts of porphyry, serpentine, giallo, 
and pavonazzetto in imitation of geometrical patterns. The 
small triangular cabinet on the left of the apse was probably 
a latrina. The dining-room was necessarily connected with 
kitchens and pantry, haunted by hundreds of coci j but here 
again we are left in the dark because the excavations have 
stopped at the wrong level. The tombstones of members of 
the Imperial household, collected in vol. vi. part ii. pp. 1 1 50- 
1204 of the Corpus Ifiscriptionum, mention among other 
officers several members of the collegitan cocorum Caesaris 
(No. 8750) — a grand chei, praepositus cocorum (No. 8752); 
cooks that the Emperors had purchased or obtained from the 
Cornufician and Sestian famihes (Nos. 8753, 8754); a butler 
a cena centurioiium (No. 8748), viz. for the service of the 
officers of the bodyguard on duty at the palace ; a super- 
intendent of the wine-cellars (No. 8745) '■> ^ GemeWus prae'Posifus 
arge7iti poforii, keeper of silver drinking -cups (No. 8729) ; an 
Ulpius Hierax, keeper of gold-plate and cups (No. 8733) ; a 
tricli?tiarcha or chief butler (No. 1884); a keeper of lamps 
(No. 8868) ; keepers of table-linen, bakers, pastry-cooks, and 
praegusiatores. Princes and Princesses of the Imperial family had 
their own special cooks, like the Zethus (No. 8755), ^^^o calls 
himself cocus Marcellae iniiioris. 

In the portion of the Imperial palace or palaces visible to us 


there is no room for the lodging and keeping of such a powerful 
army of servants as we know to have been attached to the Court. 
The columbaria of servants and freedmen of Augustus and Livia 
on the Appian way — described in Ancie7it Rome, p. 130 — 
contained about six thousand cinerary urns. The number must 
have been doubled under the extravagant rule of Nero and 
Caligula ; and yet not half of the Palatine was built over in those 
days. There are many mysteries to be solved before we gain a 
satisfactory knowledge of the material organisation and working 
of the Imperial Court. 

There is one more hall of the oiKta Aofienavov to be visited 
on the right of the triclinium. It was used as a Nymphaeum, 
where the water playing in various ways, the light filtering 
through bushes of exotic plants, the perfume of rare flowers, and 
the balmy air admitted through Cizycene windows made the 
post-prandial siesta most agreeable. The fountain is elliptical in 
shape, with niches and recesses for flower -pots and statuettes. 
The pavement is inlaid with the most rare bits of oriental alabaster. 
Upon it were lying at the time of the discovery (1862) two pieces 
of fluted columns of giallo brecciato, and a statue of Eros with 
large wings, restored by Karl Steinhauser, and removed to the 
Louvre. Froehner (Musee national du Louvre, Sculpture antique, 
p. 311, No. 325) describes it as " un torse grec d'une exquise 
delicatesse de ciseau. De la main droite levee, Eros adolescent 
versait du vin dans une coupe." The statue has been illustrated 
by Froehner himself in the Illustration, 1867, p. 152, and by 
Henzen in the Bull. Inst., 1862, p. 227. 

It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that the palace of 
Domitian is symmetrical in all its parts, and that a room of the 
same style and size as this Nymphaeum is lying buried under the 
convent of the Visitation (villa Mills). 

On the edge of these ruins cardinal Alessandro Farnese raised 
a casino, the north portico of which was painted in arabesques by 
a pupil of Taddeo Zuccari. The panels represent Aeneas visiting 
Evander, Cacus stealing the oxen of Hercules, Evander sacrificing 
to Hercules, the grotto of the Lupercal, the foundation of Rome — 
subjects drawn from the Virgilian reminiscences of the Palatine. 

The works of art discovered in the palace of Domitian are 
scattered to the four winds. The basalt statues of Hercules and 
Apollo, found 1724, are in the Museo di antichita at Parma, 
together with other architectural and ornamental marbles ; more 
pieces were removed to the palazzo Farnese at the end of last 


century. Napoleon III. presented to the Louvre the most rare 
and beautiful results of his excavations (Nov. 4th, 1861, to April 
1870); even the small but highly interesting local museum founded 
by comm. Rosa (catalogued in the Gidda del Palatino^ p. 52) 
has been dispersed, and its contents have lost their individuality 
in the great collections of the Museo nazionale alle Terme. 

As to the fate of the fresco paintings discovered behind the 
Lararium in 1721-25, I quote this passage from Winckelmann's 
Storia delle Arti^ ed. Fea, vol. iii. p. 105, § 26 : "A hall 40 
feet long, with the walls entirely covered with frescoes, was 
unearthed on the Palatine in 1724. The panels were separated 
by columns (in the so-called grotesque style) very thin and long. 
The panels detached from the walls went first to Parma, then to 
Naples, together with other rare objects inherited from the Farnese. 
But as they were kept in their boxes for twenty-four years, the 
mildew and damp effaced every trace of them, except in the case 
of a small Caryatid, which is now exhibited at Capo di Monte." 

All writers on the Palatine describe some exquisitely carved 
marbles, spoils of the excavations of 1725, which had been laid 
aside by the Uccelliera ; and Luigi Rossini has illustrated them 
in one of the best plates of his work / Sette Colli. Twenty-four 
pieces were shipped to Naples in 1787, by order of Carlo Paniceri, 
agent of the King ; the others were removed to the palazzo Far- 
nese about 1830. In May 1834 count Ludolf, the Neapolitan 
envoy, asked leave of Gregory XVI. for the removal to the museo 
Borbonico of this last remnant from the Palatine. The Government 
had not courage to refuse, and tried to throw the responsibility on 
a committee of experts. The commissioners in this case gave the 
Government a good lesson. Their report, signed by Carlo Fea, 
the veteran defender of our archaeological patrimony, contains 
these words : " Carlo Fea begs to be excused for not giving his 
consent to the removal, because these marbles are essential parts 
of the Imperial palace, and must be left where they belong to for 
the use of archaeologists, historians, and artists, who could never 
understand the architecture and the ornamentation of those noble 
ruins without them. We must not renew the example of Absyrtus 
and Orpheus, whose limbs were torn to pieces and scattered far 
and wide." 

A last observation about the palace of Domitian and the 
Farnese gardens in general. The rubbish or newly-made ground 
which covers the ruins is not entirely local, but has been brought 
there from various parts — ^from the foundations of the Chiesa del 


Gesu, built by the same cardinal (a. 1575) and by the same 
architect (Vignola), from those of the palazzo Farnese, etc. Under 
the rule of the French invaders, 1809-14, the earth from the 
excavations of the temple of Venus and Rome was deposited 
in the strip of land between the Nova via and the palace of 

References. — Bianchini, Francesco — II palazzo dei Cesari, Verona, 1738, 
chap. V. p. 48. Henzen, Wilhelm — A7i?i. Inst., 1862, p. 225 ; 1865, p. 346. 
Friedlaender — Mceurs Romai?ies, vol. i. p. 156. Froehner, Wilhelm — L Illus- 
tration, 1867, p. 152. 

XX. The Gardens of Adonis (horti Adonaea — vigna Barber- 
ini). — Domitian added to the comfort and luxury of the State 
apartments gardens laid out in oriental style and called horti 
Adonaea}- He had borrowed the idea from the Assyrians, who 
dedicated such places to Adonis, as the representative of the Sun 
and the promoter of vegetable life. Amongst their specialities were 
the KrJTTOL 'A8wviSo9, large pots of clay, sometimes of brass and 
silver, in which fennel, lettuce, and other special plants were sown 
on the approach of the anniversary feast of the god. The Palatine 
gardens are represented in a fragment of the marble plan, Jordan's 
Fon/ia, pi. 10, n. 44, reproduced in the next page (Fig. 61). 

Where were the horti located ? The answer is not so easily 
given : perhaps they were laid out in the corner of the hill 
above the Coliseum, which had already been incorporated in the 
Imperial domain by Nero, and which is the only one that the plan 
fits. This rectangular space, supported by great substruction- 
walls, is the property of the Barberinis, and is called either the 
vigna di S. Sebastiano or vigna dell' Abbadia. 

A visit to this lovely spot is necessary to complete our study 
of the Palatine. No special permission is required, and the gate 
— via di S. Bonaventuia, No. 3 — is usually kept open ; but the 
gardener has acquired the habit of asking exorbitant fees. It is 
better to address oneself to the keeper of the cappella di S. 
Sebastiano, on the left of the entrance. 

The topographers of the Renaissance have given this vigna 
Barberini the name of foro Vecc/n'o, derived obviously from the 
Curiae veteres, which were located at this very corner of the hill. 

^ Philostratos, in the Life of Apollon. ofTyayia, vii. 32, mentions not gardens 
but o.v\r\v 'A8(J}vi8os, which means either a hall or a villa : in the first case the 
indication of Philostratos might be referred to the hall designed in Fig. 61 
in the middle of the gardens ; in the second case it refers to the gardens 



Lucio Faiino {Antichita, p. io6) says "in molti istromenti antichi 
di notai si truova questo luogo cognominato alia Curia A^ecchia." ^ 
Ligorio {Bodleian, f. 55) gives the -following plan of the ruins 
(Fig. 62), stating at the same time that their condition was such that 
he could not vouch for the exactness of his survey. Flavio Biondo 


{Rom. Inst., i. 76), who visited the place at the time of Eugenius 
IV. (1431-39), speaks of it as one of the best-preserved and 
most imposing parts of the Palatine : " Remarkable ruins they are, 
with marble doors in the circuit of the walls, finer and more 
perfect than any others to be found in Rome." In chap. ix. 

^ In deeds and records of notaries of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 



part i. of Fabiola cardinal Wiseman gives a charming descrip- 
tion of this spot, where he supposes that his hero Sebastian was 
quartered ; and in chap. xxv. part iii. describes his martyrdom 








j ; 











(S. Bonaventura) 

-ui LT 



(Villa Mattel -Mills) 

(Modern Street) 



(Vigna Barberini) 



in the " court of the palace near his own dwelling, planted with 
rows of trees and consecrated to Adonis,^' and " that ancient 
chapel which stands in the midst of the ruined Palatine, to mark 
the spot on which he fell." The Acts of Sebastian are not 
altogether trustworthy, having been \vritten in the fifth century. 


but their topographical indications are genuine. They place the 
scene of the martyrdom i7t hippodromo palatiij^ and we know 
from other sources that this was precisely the name given 
to the present vigna Barberini from the fall of the Empire 
to the tenth century, when it is transferred to the so-called 

In the Appendix to the Piante di Roma the late comm. 
de Rossi has published a curious description of the Palatine, 
written at the foot of a map, in twelve numbers, corresponding 
to those marked in the map itself. It is a document of the 
Byzantine period. After describing the atrium, the throne-room, 
the basilica, the banqueting-hall, etc., of the palace of Domitian, 
it passes to the house of Augustus (VII), to the great baths of 
the palace of Severus (VIII), to the stadium or gymnasium (IX), 
to an unknown coquina (X), to the great reservoir of the aqua 
Claudia at S. Bonaventura (XI) ; and beyond it, viz. at the corner 
of the hill above the meta Sudans, it places the hypodromu??i. 

References. — Ligorio, Pirro — Cod. Bodl., f. 55. Cod. Turin., xiv. Bian- 
chini, Francesco — Palazzo dei Cesari, p. 139, sq. Jordan, Heinrich — Fortna 
Urbis Romae, tab. x. n. 44, p. 59. Boissier, Gaston — Promenades arch^ol.., 
p. 132, n, I. Mdlanges de l' Ecolefran^aise, avril 1893, PP- 101-104. 

XXI. The presence of a memorial to Sebastian, the gallant 
officer who gave his life for his faith, in the very gardens (the 
hippodrome of later days) in which Church traditions place the 
scene of his execution, proves how well founded is the tradition. 
The chapel, the earliest mention of which dates from the eleventh 
century, was restored in 1636 by prince Taddeo Barberini. We 
could not make our study of the Palatine complete without noticing 
the three ecclesiastical buildings which made this corner of the 
hill famous in the Middle Ages. 

A. ECCLESIA S. Caesarii IN Palatio (the Imperial Christian 
oratory and Christian representative of the classic Lararium). — It 
is first mentioned in the time of Phocas (a. 603), but it may be 
older. The titular saint is believed to be Caesarius, an African 
deacon, who suffered martyrdom at Terracina ; but it is evident 
that, whoever he may be, his name was selected to suit the place 
to which the chapel belonged. Such coincidences, which almost 
amount to " jeu de mots," are by no means fortuitous. The remains 
of the villa near Velitrae, where Augustus passed his youth, are 

^ 'QoWa.nd, Acta SS., ii., Jan., p. 278. Mabillon, .4/wj. ital., ii. pp. i6x, 
574. Jordan, Topographie, ii. 384. 



actually called S. Cesario.i The images of the Byzantine 
Emperors were exhibited in this chapel, as a mark of the power 
they still claimed over the ancient capital of the Empire ; and 
their keeping was entrusted to Greek monks ordijiis saccitarinn^ 
a name perhaps derived from the ample frocks they wore. Saint 
Saba junior, sent on a diplomatic mission from Amalfi to Otho III. 
in 989-991, died while a guest of these monks, and his funeral 
was attended by Otho's Empress Theophania. " The monks," says 
Anselmus of Avelbury, " use the fermented bread for the Holy 


Communion, instead of the azym, without the pope or the Roman 
Catholics taking offence at it." The last mention of S. Cesario 
occurs in the fourteenth century, when there was but one 
officiating priest left. 

The site of this historical sanctuary, seen and described only 
five centuries ago, is not known to us ; but I am inclined to place 
it among the remains of the so-called baths of Heliogabalus on 
the Sacra via, represented in the cut above. 

^ The following distich was engraved on the door of the church of 5. 
Martina, built on the site of \h.& Marti sf or U7n (Marforio) : Martyrii gestans 
virgo Martina corona7)i, Eiecto hinc Martis mi^nine templa te?ics. 


Whatever may have been the object of this edifice in classic 
times (third century after Christ), there is no doubt that it 
was transformed into a church at the end of the fifth century. 
At the time of its discovery in 1872 many particulars could be 
traced which have now disappeared : patches of Byzantine mosaic 
in the floor, traces of inscriptions and paintings, not to speak of 
the secretarium and of the baptistery. The apse and the presby- 
terium are still discernible, as well as many rooms and cells 
suited for the abode of monks. No name has yet been given 
to this church : that of S. Caesarii in Palatio seems the most 
appropriate, especially if we consider how close it is to the Turris 
Chartularia, the great mediaeval stronghold of the popes. 

monastery, variously called, of S. Maria in Pallara; of SS. Sebas- 
tiano and Zotico ; of S. Sebastiano alia Polveriera ; of S. Andrea in 
Palladio, etc.) — The first mention occurs in documents of the 
year 1001,^ but it may belong to the Constantinian era — that is 
to say, to the group of memorials raised under that Emperor to 
the heroes and heroines of the last persecution of Diocletian. 

The monastery was fortified, or, to speak more exactly, was 
included in the Palatine fortifications of the Frangipanis. In 
describing the election of pope Gelasius II. (a. 11 18), the Liber 
p07itificalis (ed. Duchesne, vol. ii. p. 313) calls it locum iiitissinium 
infra doinos Leonis et Ceticii Fraiapa7ie.'^ Later on it became 
the official residence in Rome of the abbots of Monte Cassino. 
Under Urban V. (1362-70) we find it entrusted to the care 
of a single clergyman, Angelo Riccardelli. The ruins of the 
church, on the walls of which the history of the martyrdom of 
S. Zoticus was painted, are described by Baronio. At the time 
of Urban VIII. the building was entirely profaned and turned 
into a farmhouse. Michele Lonigo saw on the spandrels of the 
front of the tribune two remarkable figures : one representing a 
certain Petrus ilhistris mediciis^ a mediaeval restorer of the 
church, offering a model of it to S. Sebastian ; the other his 
wife Giovanna offering other gifts to S. Zoticus. 

Pope Barberini and his nephew Taddeo restored the chapel 
in 1636, destroying at the same time all traces of the frescoes, 
except those of the apse. They had been copied, however, in 
1630 by Antonio Ecclissi ; but he failed to catch the spirit and 

^ Pertz^ — Monumeiita Germaniae historica, vol. iv. p. 768. 
- Cencio Frangipane is the same to whom the monks of S. Gregory leased 
the Septizonium and the tower of the Circus Maximus in 1145. 



the meaning of the subjects, as we can ourselves judge from the 
facsimiles which are now exhibited in the chapel. 

The frescoes of the apse represent the Saviour between SS. 
Lawrence, Stephen, Sebastian, and Zoticus, the two last wearing 
the costume of the Court officers of the fifth century. There is a 
lower belt of figures painted in the eleventh century at the expense 
of the monk Benedictus. 

The two columns of breccia corallina on the altar were probably 
removed from the upper cloisters of the house of the Vestals. The 
" balaustri " in front of it are cut in the rarest kind of lumachella. 

The monastery had its own cemetery, where burial was carried 
on in the Roman fashion, the corpses being protected by a double 
row of tiles placed in a slanting position. The cemetery was 
discovered on May 24th, 1879. 

C. The Turris Chartularia (the centre of the fortifications 
of the Frangipanis, in which the archives of the church were kept 



for a long time). — The foundations, built of chips of marble, 
silex, and travertine, rest on an ancient bed of concrete, and 


are flanked by huge blocks of peperino, belonging to the temple 
of Jupiter Stator. (See Book III. § viii.) The date of its con- 
struction is not known. In 1167 pope Alexander III., perse- 
cuted by the partisans of Barbarossa, found shelter in it. The 
name of Chartularia is derived, according to Marini, from a 
manufacture of papyrus-paper ; according to Cancellieri, from the 
archives which it contained. The cut above shows the state of 
the tower in the sixteenth century, to which it had been reduced 
by Brancaleone in 1257. Valadier destroyed the rest in 1829. 
A detailed account of it is given by Nibby — Roma antica^ vol. ii. 
p. 471. 

References. — Duchesne, Louis — Bulletin critique, 1885, p. 417. De Rossi, 
Gio. Battista — Bullett. crist., 1867, p. 15 ; and Notizie Scavi, dicemb. 1883. 
Stevenson, Enrico — // cimitero di Zotico, Modena, 1871, p. 71 ; and Bull, 
arch, com., 1888, p. 295. Armellini, Mariano — Chiese di Roma, 2nd ed. , 
PP- 5i7> 524- Jordan, Heinrich — Topographic, vol. ii. p. 609. Adinolfi, 
Pasquale — Roma nelV eta di mezzo, vol. i. pp. 392-397. 

XXII. The so-called Stadium (Xystus). — The name of 
Stadium has been given to the circus -like edifice, 160 metres 
long, 47 wide, which separates the house of Augustus from the 
baths of Septimius Severus. The giving of this name seemed 
justified, first, by the oblong shape of the place with a slightly 
curved end; secondly, by the measure of 160 metres, which 
comes very near that of a stadium (177*40); thirdly, by the 
two fountains which occupy the place of the goals. Prof. Marx, 
on the other side, thinks the name to be wrong, and that the 
place was a garden, a xystus with a gestatio^ etc., attached to the 
house of Augustus. The question is too technical and minute to 
be treated in these pages. One theory does not absolutely ex- 
clude the other. For the sake of clearness I shall follow the old 
denomination, without taking any responsibility for it. 

The foundation of the Stadium is attributed to Domitian while 
rebuilding the domus Augustana. The style of the brickwork is 
the same in both, and so are some of the brick-stamps from the 
kilns of T. Flavins Clonius and T. Flavins Hermes, freedmen of 
the Emperor. By a close examination of the structure in its 
present state we can reconstruct its history from the time of 
Domitian (if not of Augustus) to that of Theoderic. Originally 
it was nothing but a level space of ground, perhaps laid out in 
grass and flower-beds, enclosed by a wall slightly curved at the 
western end. There was no portico, no seats, no steps, nothing 
characteristic of a place of public meeting. Hadrian probably built 


the two-storeyed portico, as shown by the style of masonry, and by 
the brick-stamps of the year 123-134 found in great numbers in the 
excavations of 1871 and 1893. Septimius Severus improved the 
aspect of the Stadium by the addition of an Imperial tribune or 
exedra. The lower arcades of the portico rest on half columns 
coated with slabs of porta santa, the bases of which are hollow 
and fit into the masonry like half rings. One of the capitals dis- 
covered in 1868 by Visconti is cut out of a block quarried 
A.D. 195 under the consulship of Scapula Tertullus and Tineius 
Clemens. The portico, therefore, was included by Septimius 
Severus in his general reconstruction and embellishment of the place. 
A prefect of the city of the fourth century made other restorations, 
if we may believe the words of a fragmentary inscription discovered 
in 1878. Last of all, king Theoderic tried to stop the ruin and 
the fall of this part of the Imperial buildings. His name has been 
read many times on bricks discovered by Visconti in 1868 and by 
myself in 1877. Theoderic seems to have propped with buttresses 
the walls which threatened to collapse, and to have also transformed 
the plan and the destination of the building. The arena, once 
used for athletic sports or for flower-beds, was then occupied by 
a large oval basin, which we would call a swimming-bath were it 
not for the absence of a watertight floor ; probably it was meant 
for a small amphitheatre. It is highly interesting to the student 
of the decline and fall of Imperial Rome to examine the work of 
Theoderic in its details. First of all, when the basin was built, 
the floor of the Xystus was already covered with a bed of rubbish 
from 2 to 3 feet thick, as we can certify by comparing the 
level of the original marble pavement with that of the foundations 
of the oval. These foundations are built of chips and blocks of 
porphyry, serpentine, giallo antico, and, above all, of pieces of 
cipollino columns, belonging to the second floor of the portico. 
The Stadium, therefore, must have been half ruined in Theoderic's 
age, probably in consequence of the earthquake mentioned in the 
contemporary inscriptions of the Coliseum.^ Another circum- 
stance deserving notice is that on either side of the entrance to 
the ring there are two marble pedestals removed from the house 
of the Vestals, and inscribed with the name of Coelia Claudiana, 
virgo vestalis maxima. In adapting them to their new object, 
Theoderic's masons did not even take time and care to erase the 
name of the illustrious abbess. 

Nothing is known of the fate of the building in the Middle 
1 Corpus Inscr., vi. 17 16, a, b. 


Ages. The document of the eighth century produced by de Rossi 
{Pia?tte di Roma, p. 127), of which mention has been made above, 
describes it as a gymnasiiun, viz. locus diversis exercitationum 
gejieribiis deputatiis. In the tenth or eleventh century it was occu- 
pied by a colony of stonecutters and lime-burners, whose sheds 
and workshops were seen and described in the excavations of 1 877. 
The floor around the sheds was covered with chips and fragments 
of statues and architectural marbles. When we recollect that 
there were on each tier of the portico eighty-six columns, and 
over a thousand feet of richly carved marble cornice, and marble 
roofs, and marble parapets, floors, and incrustations, and number- 
less statues and bas-reliefs, of which hardly a trace is left, the 
magnitude of the work of destruction needs no comment. There 
is an altar left standing in the middle of the arena, which they 
had begun to hammer and split, when, for a reason unknown to 
us, the work of destruction was suddenly given up. To one 
object only they seem to have paid respect — namely, the beautiful 
statue of Juno, discovered March 3rd, 1878, and now exhibited 
in the museo delle Terme. We found it lying on two supports 
{cuscini) of stone, on which it had been placed so carefully that 
not even the most delicate folds of the peplum had suffered 
damage from the operation. The photograph of this masterpiece 
is given in the Notizie for 1879, pl- i, n. 2, A regular search for"/ 
plunder was opened in 1552 by Alessandro Ronconi. Julius III. | 
being engaged at that time in building his famous villa Giulia, ! 
outside the porta del Popolo, a campaign was opened against the 
antique monuments of the city by all those wishing to please the 
pope, or to make money by dealing with him in marbles for the; 
palace, or in statues and inscriptions for the ornamental grounds', 
by which it was surrounded. The tombs of the via Flaminia at • 
Torre di Quinto, the remains of the gardens of Domitia in the ' 
vigna of Bindo Altoviti (prati di Castello), the baths of the ; 
aquae Albulae near Tivoh, the baths of Agrippa behind the 
Pantheon, the villa of the Acilii on the Pincian, the ruins of Porto 
and Ostia, the temple of the Sun in the villa Colonna, and th 
stadium of the Palatine were put to ransom. Between May and 
July 1552 Alessandro Ronconi sold to the pope columns of 
cipollino, pedestals and bases, and even the gutter of white 
marble which carried off the drippings from the roof of the portico. 
Francesco Ronconi, son or nephew of Alessandro, was more 
successful in his excavations of 1570. Their results are thus 
described by Flaminio Vacca {Mem., yj): "I remember the 




finding in the vigna Ronconi of eighteen or twenty mutilated 
statues of Amazons (Danaids), somewhat larger than life-size. 
In the same place, and exactly under the wine -press, which 


Ronconi was repairing at the time, the Hercules of Lysippos was 
discovered.^' The fate of the Danaids is unknown, except that in 
the account-books of cardinal Ippolito d' Este the following entry 
has been discovered by professor V^enturi : — "March 5, 1570; 



To expense for statues : seventy-five scudi to Francesco Ronconi 
and Leonardo Sormano for a life-size statue of an Amazon." 

Pius IX. in 1868, comm. Rosa in 1872, and the Italian Govern- 
ment in 1877, 1878, and 1893, have liberated the stadium once 
for all from its heavy pall of ruins. No other part of the Palatine 
impresses us more vividly. There is no break in the enclosure- 
wall, nor in the colonnade of the lower portico, although many 
of the shafts are only a few feet high : the remains of the great 
exedra tower at the height of 120 feet. The east end of the 
portico is especially well preserved, and so are the metae in the 
shape of fountains, and some of the monuments which mark the 
middle line of the arena. 

The exedra deserves a few words of description. There is a 
ground-floor, level with the arena, with a middle hall of good size 
and a smaller room on each side of it. The pavement, the 
marble incrustations, and the paintings of the hall have been 
destroyed, with the exception of the frescoes in the lunette of the 
vault. They would hardly be noticeable, owing to their bad style 
and imperfect preservation, were it not for a rare and perhaps 
unique representation of a terrestrial globe fixed to the circle of the 
horizon, which rests on three pegs. This globe shows how wide- 
spread in Roman schools was the theory, known and supported 
since the time of Aristotle, that the earth was a sphere. 

This hall formed part of the castle of the Frangipanis facing 
the monastery of SS. Andrea e Gregorio in Clivoscauri. In the 
excavations of 1871 some thirty skeletons of men who seem to 
have perished in their youth were found at the foot of the wall on 
the right ; some of the skulls bore marks of blows and cuts from 
battle-axes or swords. We conjectured, while gazing at these re- 
mains, that, during one of the bloody contests which every now and 
then marked the election of a pontiff, these young warriors had lost 
their lives in the defence of the stronghold of the Septizonium, and 
had been buried in haste under the Imperial tribune. The vaulted 
ceiling of the hall must have been intact at that time, because 
the skeletons were found covered by great masses of masonry. 

The small room on the right was never finished and its floor 
never paved ; the other one, on the contrary, is nicely painted and 
has a mosaic floor with festoons and birds in black and white. 
There are graffiti on the plaster to the left of the entrance, among 
which a roll of names followed by a cipher. The names may be 
of athletes or sportsmen, and the figures may refer to their con- 
tests or to the victories won. 



The upper floor of the exedra contained but one (semicircular) 
hall. A colonnade of Syenite granite decorated its front, another 
of pavonazzetto the curve of the apse. Shafts, capitals, bases, 
and fragments of the entablature cover the floor in front of it. It 
is probable that the Hercules of Lysippos discovered by Ronconi 
in 1570, and bought by Cosimo III. for the Pitti palace, belonged 
to one of the eleven niches of the exedra. 


This statue is the only one pertaining to the stadium which 
has been taken away from Rome. I have already spoken of the 
fate of the Danaids discovered by the same Ronconi. The Muse 
found by Visconti in 1868 and the Juno of 1878 are exhibited on 
the west side of the quadrangle in the museo delle Terme. In 
the excavations of 1893 several remarkable works of art came to 
light — namely, a headless statue of another muse (March 29th), 


which has been left on the spot, at the east end of the north 
portico ; a bust of Antoninus Pius ; a torso of a Faun ; and a superb 
female head of pure Greek workmanship, of which I give a 
reproduction (Fig. 66). It is the work of a great master of the fifth 
century B.C., and may belong to one of the muses by which the 
image of Apollo Citharoedus was surrounded in the neighbouring 
temple. These marbles are preserved in the museo delle Terme. 

References. — Visconti, Carlo Ludov. — Di uii ?tuovo graffito palatitio, in 
Giorn. arcad., vol. Ixii. Visconti e Lanciani — Guida del Palatino, p. 87. 
Rosa, Pietro — Relazione sulk scoperte archeologiche, Roma, 1873, p. 78. 
Gori, Fabio — Archivio Storico, vol. ii. p. 374^ Deglane, Henry — Gazette 
archdologique, 1888, p. 216; ditxdi M^la?iges de I Ecole franf. de Rome, ix. 1889, 
pp. 184-229. Notizie degli Scavi, 1878, p. 66 ; 1879, tav. i. n. 2 ; 1893, 
pp. 31, 70, 117, 162 ; 1894, p. 94. Sturm, Joseph — Das kaiserliche Stadium. 
Wiirzburg, 1888. Monumenti antichi ptibbicati per cura delta r. Accademia 
del Liticei, vol. v. 1895, p. 17. Marx, Friedrich — Das sogennante Stadium, 
in Jahrbuch des deutschen Instituts, 1895, p. 129. Lanciani, Rodolfo — 
Mittheil., 1894, p. 16. Huelsen, Christian — ibid., 1895, p. 276. 

XXIII. The Palace of Septimius Severus (aedes Severi- 
anae). — Between the two summits of the Palatine, the Cermalus 
and the Palatium, there is a marked difference in shape. The first 
was, and is still for the most part, surrounded by cliffs which made 
it inaccessible ; the second slopes down more gently towards the 
Caelian and the Piscina publica; and while the Imperial buildings 
stop with the edge of the precipice on one side, they descend to 
the bottom of the slope and to the level of the valley on the other. 
Immense substructures were raised here by Septimius Severus 
and Caracalla to reach the average level of the other palaces, as 
shown by the following photo, taken from the Aventine. The 
letters AA' mark the level of the platform ; B marks the remains 
of the palace of Severus, built on the platform ; C the curved end 
of the stadium ; D the remains of the palace of Augustus. 

No other section of the Palatine has suffered as much as this 
pne from the action of time and from the hand of man. By 
measurements on the spot, compared with descriptions and docu- 
ments left by those who saw the ruins in a better state, I have 
ascertained that the aedes Severianae must have covered an area 
of 24,500 square metres, and must have reached the height of 50 
metres above the pavement of the streets which enclosed them on 
two sides. This gives a volume of one million and a quarter 
cubic- metres, a perfect mountain of masonry, of which only a few 
traces are left standing to tell the tale. The edge of the sub- 
structures, marked A' in the illustration, is a celebrated point of 


new, which extends over hills and dales as far as the coast of Ostia 

and Laurentum. (See Ancient Ro})ie^ chap. v. p. 126.) In gazing at 
it from his lofty point of vantage the reader must remember that he 


is only level with the ground-floor of the palace, which rose from 
25 to 30 metres above his head. The ruins were granted in 975 
to the monks of S. Gregorio by Stephen of Hildebrand, then 
ruler of Rome. We gather from the act of donation that there 
were at that time thirty-eight arches still standing on the side of 
the Circus, which were popularly called the porticus Materiani j 
others were visible in the adjoining property of John de Papa de 
septem viis. Above this line of crypts and arcades there was a 
strip of cultivated land, and still higher up the bathing apartments 
of the palace {iibi dicitur balneum iuiperatoris). 

On March i8th, 1 145, the ruins, or at least the portion of them 
between the stronghold of the Septizonium and the tower which 
had been raised over the triumphal arch of Titus at the entrance 
to the Circus maximus, were leased to Cencio Frangipane. A 
century later the monks thought it best suited their interests to 
break up the property and lease the crypts and arcades one by 
one. Between 1 2 1 5 and 1 2 1 8 twenty-one were rented individually 
for various purposes, which in progress of time were reduced to 
one, ad retinendum femwi, for a hay-loft ! One of the conditions 
in these contracts obliged the tenant to paint the coat -of - 
arms of S. Gregory above the gate of the crypt, and keep it 
fresh and bright. The abuse was suppressed in 1863, after the 
terrific fire which consumed in one night thousands of bales of 
hay, and threatened to destroy the whole mass of buildings. 

This corner of the Palatine is connected with two well-known 
names — that of Tommaso Inghirami da Volterra, surnamed Fedra^ 
a famous poet, orator, and scholar of the sixteenth century ; and 
that of Marcello Venusti, a painter and a pupil of Michaelangelo, 
like Sebastiano dal Piombo and Daniele da Volterra. The first 
owned the part of the palace called balneum imperatoris, 
which he sold to Marcello Crescenzi, auditor of Clement VII., 
on January 22nd, 1533; the second owned the vigna (marked 
" dei Benfratelli " in plan facing p. 109), which he had bought on 
April 24th, 1560, from Concordia Maccarani, widow of Francesco 

The only work of art found — as far as I know — among these 
ruins is a torso of Minerva with the aegis dotted with stars. 
Paolo Biondi discovered it by accident on June 5th, 1823, and it 
was removed soon after to the museo Vaticano. I may mention 
also a precious gold fibula, a piece of Byzantine work of the sixth 
century, discovered by Mr. BHss at the top of the stairs leading 
from the stadium to the exedra. It is now exhibited in one of 


the ground rooms of the museo delle Terme, together with the 
" tesoro " of Castel Trosino. 

References. — Mittarelli, Benedetto — Ann. Camaldul., quoted in Mitthei- 
lungen, 1894, vol. ix. p. 4. 

XXIV. Septizonium. — Few remains of the Imperial palace, 
or indeed of the whole city, are as widely known as the 
Septizonium, and yet archaeologists are still discussing what the 
name means and what was the real nature of the edifice. 
Visconti {Guida del Palatino., pp. 49 and 93) thinks that 
the front of the palace of Severus facing the south was called by 
that name on account of the seven rows {septeDi zonae) of columns, 
symbolising the seven bands or atmospheres of heaven, by which 
it was decorated. 1 He supports the theory by two arguments : 
first, that the hebdomadal cycle in honour of the seven planets 
came into fashion and practical use about the time of Septimius 
Severus ; secondly, that even in the Middle Ages the Septizonium 
was connected with the sun and the moon. Jordan and others, 
on the other hand, deny that there were seven tiers of columns : 
they fix the maximum at three, which is the number represented 
in the earliest designs of this noble ruin. Now as the word 
septifolium indicates a plant with seven leaves, and the word 
septimontiiun indicates a group of seven hills, so the word 
septizo7iimn must indicate, in the present case, an edifice with 
seven bands or horizontal lines ; in other words, with seven 
entablatures supported by rows of columns one above the other. 
It is also possible that the rows were only six, if we reckon among 
the horizontal bands the basement and the steps of the structure. 
Visconti also remarks that we actually have a bona-fide septizonium 
in the Campanile of Pisa, the tiers of which were only seven in 
the original design of Wilhelm and Bonanno. The eighth was 
added about a century later. We must remember in the last case 
that the three rows of columns of which the Septizonium was 
composed reach only the height of 25-64 metres above the level 
of the via Triumphalis. The existing remains of the palace 
of Severus are at least 5 5 metres high ; therefore if the 
Septizonium was built, as we befieve, to screen the confused mass 
of structures behind, and to serve as a monumental facade to the 
palace of Severus, it must have been higher than we supposed. 
This condition of things appears evident in the following sketch 
by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, which I borrowed from his 
1 Rawlinson — The Five Great Monarchs, vol. ii. pp. 269, 547. 

1 84 


volume of 1560, marked E, d^ 26 in the Cabinet des Estampes, 

As we have seen above (p. 180), the Hne AA'A" marks the 
top of the substructures and the beginning of the palace. 
Supposing the Septizonium to have been only three storeys high, 
it would hardly have masked even the substructures. 

The Septizonium was already in a ruinous condition at the end 

;%sy^ -f 


of the eighth century. The inscription engraved in the frieze of 
the lower colonnade numbered 280 letters, of which 118 were 
copied by the so-called Einsiedlensis on the extreme left, towards 
the Circus maximus ; 45 by the anonymous Barberinianus ( 
25) on the extreme right, towards the arch of Constantine. There 
was consequently a gap of 1 1 7 letters between the two ends of the 
ruins, which were respectively called Septej)t solid niaior and 
Septem solia i)ii7ior. The total length of the building being 90 
or 95 metres, two-fifths of it had already collapsed in the eighth 
century. On July 22nd, 975, John, abbot of S. Gregory, was allowed 


to destroy the minor portion ; but he did not take advantage of 
the permission. In the year 1084 Henry IV., while besieging the 
fortress of Septem solia, in which Rusticus, nephew of Gregory 
VII., had sought refuge, caused the fall of many columns — 
qtiaviplurimas coliininas sicbvertit. In 1257 the larger portion 
was destroyed by senatore Brancaleone. The last remnants 
disappeared in the winter of 1588-89 by order of Sixtus V., and 
at the hand of his favourite architect Domenico Fontana. The 
destruction cost the pope 905 scudi, but he recovered more than 
his money's worth by making use of the materials, whether blocks 
of peperino and travertine or columns of rare marbles. 

Thirty-three blocks of stone were used in the foundations of 
the pedestal of the obeHsk in the piazza del Popolo ; 1 04 of 
marble in the restoration of the column of Marcus Aiirelius, 
including the base of the bronze statue of S. Paul ; 1 5 in the 
tomb of the pope in the cappella del Presepio at S. Maria 
Maggiore ; and an equal number in that of Pius V. The stair- 
case of the " Casa dei Mendicanti,'' or workhouse, by the ponte 
Sisto; the washing-house, or "lavatore," in the baths of Diocletian ; 
the door of the palazzo della Cancellaria ; the north facade of the 
Lateran palace, its court and staircases ; and the church of S. 
Girolamo degli Schiavoni, had all their share of the spoils of the 

References. — Jordan, Heinrich — Bu/letti?io dell' Instihito, 1872, p. 145 ; 
and Forma Urbis Romae, pp. 37-41, tab. viii. n. 38. Bertolotti, Antonio — 
Artisti Lombardi, vol. i. p. 87 : Libro xix. del cav. Fontana per la disfattura 
della scola di Vergilio. Milano, Hoepli, 1881. Huelsen, Christian — Das 
Septizonium, etc. : xlvi. Programm zum Winckelmannsfeste der archaeologischen 
Gesellschaft zu Berlin. 1886. Stevenson, Enrico — // settizonio Scveriano, 
in Bullettino comm. arch., 1888, p. 269, tav. xiii. Lanciani, Rodolfo — // 
Palazzo Maggiore : Mittheilungen, vol. ix. , 1894, p. 4. 

XXV. The Water Supply and Reservoirs of the Palace. 
— Nothing is known of the water supply of the Palatine before 
the time of Domitian. The fact that Augustus would take his 
siesta in summer " by the fountain of the peristyle," proves that 
his house was well provided with water from the time of its first 
construction. After doubling the extent of the Imperial domain 
on the hill, Domitian carried a powerful siphon from the reservoir 
of the Arciis Caelwtontani (aqua Claudia) by the temple of 
Claudius, to the highest point of the hill by S. Bonaventura. 
The pressure must have been enormous, as the siphon crossed 
the valley between the two hills at a point 41 metres (41-16) 


below the feeding reservoir. It must have reached three atmos- 
pheres. Remains of Domitian's hydrauUc work were discovered in 
1658 and 1742. The pipe, made of soHd sheets of lead and oval 
in shape, measured about a foot in diameter, and could carry 276 
unities (oncie) of water. The laying of the siphon had been 
entrusted to the care of M. Arrecinius Clemens, the brother-in-law 
of Titus and consul a.d. ^% and its construction to a plumber 
named Postumius Amerimnus. We have been able to follow the 
course of the water not only across the valley but through the 
various sections of the Imperial palace. The pipe supplying the 
house of Augustus bore the inscription do?nY?> AVGVSTANAE and 
the name of Evhodas, the procurator aquarum; that supplying 
the house of Germanicus, the names of Eutychus, procurator, and 
Hymnus, plumber ; that of the stadium, the names of Epagathus, 
procurator, Martialis and Alexander, plumbers ; and so forth. 

Domitian's siphon is thrown into the shade by the aqueduct of 
Septimius Severus. After rebuilding, repairing, and connecting in 
one mass the various sections of the palace, damaged by the fire' 
of Commodus ; after raising another palace of his own, to which 
the Septizonium served as a facade ; after providing the Imperial 
residence with thermae of great size and magnificence, he carried 
the channel of the Claudia from the top of the Caelian to the top 
of the Palatine, making it cross the valley at a prodigious height. 
The viaduct, composed of four lines of arcades, measured at least 
425 metres in length and 42 metres in height. The following 
design represents the portion above the modern via di S. Gregorio. 

■S.Bonauentura Via di s.\ Gregorio SS.Giouanni e 


■250.00 Paolo 




The five arches on the left on the road, shaded in black, are still in 
existence ; the six on the other side were destroyed, on November 
14th, I 596, by Caprizio Cornovaglia (Cornwall), the owner of what 
is now called " Orto Botanico." 

The water was stored in the great reservoir, afterwards turned 
into a refectory for the monks of S. Bonaventura (Fig. 62). 



Among the discoveries made when the convent was built, Bartoli 
mentions a spigot of Corinthian brass weighing ninety pounds. 

References. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — I cotnentarii di Frontino, etc., Rome, 
Salviucci, 1880, pp. 211, 234. Venuti, Ridolfino — Ro?na antica, vol. i. p. 38. 

XXVI, Two more edifices, or rather two parts of the same 
edifice, remain to be examined before we leaAC the Palatine : the 
Paedagogium and the domus Gelotiana. 

The domus Gelotiana was purchased and embodied in the 
Crown property by Caligula, not for want of additional space and 
accommodation, but to satisfy his passion for the races of the 
circus, and his affection for the squadron of the greens, factio 
prasina^ in whose stables (by SS. Lorenzo e Damaso) he used to 
spend days and nights -^is* „„• //-m-. / • /-i- -/ ar // 

indulging in all kinds 
of excesses. The house 
adjoined the circus and 
the Carceres, where 
the riders were massed 
on race days, so that it 
was easy for the young 
prince to join his friends 
without leaving the 
Imperial palace. The 
domus Gelotiana is 
composed of two parts : 
one adjoining the cir- 
cus, which is still in 
private hands, and is 
entered from the gate 
No. 45 via dei Cerchi. 
It contains the vesti- 
bule, the atrium, the 
tablinum, and the tri- 
clinium. The inner ~ " ^^.^s 

part, which is Govern- -v y - \ r^ , 

^ ' , , . vi^ cic\- CcrcKi- 

ment property, contams 

many smaller apart- ^'''- 7o.-i>LAN of domus gelotiana. 

ments opening on a second courtyard or peristyle, and it has 
become famous for the " graffiti " which cover its walls. We 
learn from them that, after the death of Caligula, the domus 
Gelotiana, or at least this inner part of it, was turned into a 



training school for Court pages, under the name of Paedagogium. 
The name occurs very often in the graffiti : Corinthiis exit 
de paedagogio I Mariamis Afer exit de paedagogio ! — as if the 
boys wanted to chronicle their liberation from the rod of the 
master on the walls which had long imprisoned them. There 
was another amusing allusion to the hardships of school life, 
comprising a vignette and its explanation. The vignette repre- 
sented a donkey turning the mill, and the legend said, Labora^ 




asellc^ quojuodo ego labor aid et proderit tibi. " Work, work, little 
donkey, as I have worked myself, and thou shalt be rewarded for it." 
This graffito was destroyed by an unscrupulous tourist in 1886. 
The most interesting of the set is the one representing a caricature 
of the Crucifixion of our Lord, discovered at the beginning of the 
year 1857, and removed soon after to the Kircherian museum of 
the Collegio Romano. 

The front part of the house, entered by the via de' Cerchi, No. 
45, was partially excavated in 1888, when a remarkable set of 
fresco paintings was discovered in the dining-hall, marked A in 
Fig. 70. 


The figures, varying in height from i -60 metres to i -So, re- 
present butlers and waiters in the act of leading the guests to the 
banqueting table. The tricliniarch with a rod in his hand stands 
by the entrance door, whilst other men are carrying napkins, 
wreaths, silver plate, etc. It is to be regretted that such an 
interesting-place should not be made accessible to the public, and 
that the front and back sections of this historical house should not 
be excavated at one and the same time. The discovery of the 
triclinium has been illustrated by Marchetti in the Notizie degli 
Scavi, 1892, p. 44; and by Huelsen in Mittheilimge?i^ 1894, 
p. 289. 

Literature on the graffiti of the Paedagogium. — Garrucci, Raffaele — // 
crocifisso graffito Jtella casa del Cesari. Roma, 1857 ; and Graffiti di 
Pompei, p. 97, plates 30, 31. Becker, Ferd. — Das spottcrucijix d. rom. 
Kaiserpaldste. Breslau, 1866. Kraus, Franz Xaver — Das spottcrucifix votn 
Palatin. Freiburg in Breisgau, 1872. De Rossi, G. Battista — Bull. Inst., 
1857, p. 275 ; Bull, crist., 1863, P- 7^ ; 1867, p. 75. Visconti, C. Ludovico 
— Di un 71UOV0 graffito palatino, in Giornalearcadico, vol. Ixii. ; a.\\d Sulla inter- 
pretazione delta sigh V.D.N, dei graffiti palatini. Roma, 1868. Visconti 
e Lanciani — Guida del Palatifio, p. 78. Gori, Fabio, in Gior/iale arcadico, vol. 
lii. p. 45. Lanciani, R. — Ancient Rome, p. 119. Correra, Luigi — Graffiti 
di Roma, in Bull, com., 1893, p. 245 ; 1894, p. 89. 



I. The Sacra via. — The line and direction of the Sacra via in 
Imperial times is no longer a matter for discussion, because 
since April 21st, 1882, its pavement has been laid bare 
from one end to the other, together with the remains of the 
edifices which bordered it, of the monuments in honour of 
different worthies which decorated its pavement, and of the drains 
which ran under it. The topography of this " queen of streets " 
was, however, very different in Kingly or early Republican times. 
It can be made out in two ways : from the remains of Kingly or 
Republican buildings which appear here and there, below the 
level of the Im.perial ones (for instance, under the house of the 
Vestals and under the basilica Julia), or from the configuration of 
the ground. Geological analysis proves, among other things, that 
the primitive road crossed the ridge of the Velia, not by the arch 
of Titus, as it did afterwards, but 50 metres north of it, where 
the church of S. Francesca Romana now stands. The furrow 
followed by the road was discovered by Nibby in 1827-32 by 
means of borings through the clay and marl strata of which the 
ridge is composed. The same archaeologist found remains of 
private houses under the pavement of the present or Imperial road. 
From these pieces of evidence we can conclude that the primitive 
Sacra via left the hollow of the Coliseum at a point equidistant from 
the Colossus (1) and the Meta Sudans (II) (I mention these monu- 
ments to give the reader some " points de repere "), crossed the 
depression between the Palatine and the Oppian on the line of the 
axis of the templum Romae et Veneris (IV) ; descended the northern 
slope towards the Forum along the porticus Margaritaria (XII); then 


turned diagonally towards the viciis Tuscus (XXIX), passing 
between the temple of Vesta (XIX) and the habitation of the 
Pontifex Maximus (Regia, XVIII). From the junction of the vicus 
Tuscus to the Capitoline hill no changes seem to have taken place. 
The whole course of the primitive Sacra via was irregular and 
winding, as becomes a much -frequented path over undulating 
ground not encumbered by buildings or obstacles of any kind ; 
but as soon as buildings began to rise on either side, it took a 
definite shape, and "angles" were substituted for "curves" until 
the street was made to turn at a right angle no less than five times. 
The transformation was obviously accomplished by degrees : first in 
42 B.C., when the temple of Caesar was raised on the spot where 
his body had been incinerated, secondly after the fire of Nero, 
thirdly after the fire of Commodus, and lastly after that of Carinus. 
Each of these calamities gave rise to a new " piano regolatore." 

After the fall of the Empire, when traffic was practically reduced 
to its primitive state, and the glorious monuments of this " celeber- 
rimus urbis locus " crumbled into dust, the bend round the temple 
of Caesar was abandoned, and the traffic resumed the ancient line, 
which was the easiest and shortest. This late path is still 
marked by bits of rough pavement made up with old worn-out 
paving-stones, blocks of marble, and architectural fragments. 

The primitive path was named Sacra via (infima, summa, clivus 
sacer) because three very sacred hut-temples stood on its border : 
the hut for public fire, or temple of Vesta, that in which the 
Penates brought from Troy were kept, and a third inhabited by 
the high priest. The people adopted the form Sacra via, instead 
of via Sacra, and its inhabitants were called Sacravienses. In 
the early days of Rome it was divided into three sections — the first 
from its origin near the sacellum Streniae (site unknown, but near 
the giardino delle Mendicanti) to the house of the " rex sacrificulus " 
on the top of the ridge ; the second from this house to the Regia 
or habitation of the Pontifex Maximus ; the third from the Regia 
to the summit of the Capitoline hill. In Imperial times the ascent 
to this hill was called clh'us Capitolinus. Its total length from the 
Meta Sudans to the foot of ascent was 790 metres. The street 
retained its name at least up to the ninth century after Christ, 
as certified by the Liber po?itiJicalis in the Life of Paschal I. 
(817-824, "ecclesia Cosmae et Damiani in via Sacra"), but its 
classic meaning was altogether forgotten. The church of S. 
Cosma and that of S. Adriano were called " in via Sacra " 
because they were on the line of the great pontifical processions 


which entered the Forum by the via di Marforio and left it in the 
direction of the arch of Titus. 

Literature. — Ambrosch — Studien und Audentungen. Breslau, 1839. 
Becker, Adolf — De Aluris, p. 23 ; and Topographic, pp. 219-243. Nibby, 
Antonio — Roma nel 18 j8, part i. vol. i. p. 49. Canina, Luigi — Descrizione 
del Foro. Roma, 1845. Jordan, Heinrich — Capitol, Forum und Sacra via, 
Berlin, Weidmann, 1881 ; and Topographic, vol. i. p. 155. Nichols, J. 
Francis — The Roman Forum, pp. 2j'y-2()g. Parker, J. Henry — The via Sacra, 
London, 1876. 

II. Colossus (colossal statue of the Sun), Plan No. I. — The 
platform of the Velia, from the " summa Sacra via " to the site of 
the amphitheatre, was occupied by the vestibule of the Golden 
House of Nero, a square portico with a colossal bronze statue in 
the centre. The statue had been cast in Rome by Zenodoros in 
the likeness of Nero ; but after the death of the tyrant the head 
had been changed into that of the radiant Sun, the face bearing a 
resemblance to that of Titus. Vespasian generously rewarded the 
artist, who had thus served the interests of the Flavian dynasty. 
When Martial wrote the 2nd epigram, " De spectaculis," about 
A.D. 75, the Golden House had already been pulled down, and 
the ground near the Colossus seems to have been occupied by 
scaffoldings connected with the work of the new amphitheatre. The 
statue remained in its place until 121, when Hadrian, having 
chosen the site for his temple of Venus and Rome, caused it to be 
placed nearer to the Coliseum. The displacement was effected 
by the architect De(me)trianus with the help of twenty-four 
elephants, the statue remaining all the while upright and sus- 
pended from the movable scaffolding. The difficulty of the 
operation may be estimated by the fact that the bronze mass was 
30I metres high. The seven rays round the head, each 6*68 
metres long, were a later addition. The Vifa Comm. affirms that 
the head was changed once more by Commodus to bear his own 
likeness. It is represented in coins of Severus Alexander and 
Gordianus. The last classic mention occurs in the Chronicon of 
Cassiodorus ; the first mediaeval record (?) in a document of A.D. 
972 (" domus posita Romae regione. quarta non longe a Colosso"). 
The pedestal of the Colossus, Plan No. I., was discovered by 
Nibby in 1828. It is built of concrete with brick facing, once 
covered with marble slabs. 

Literature. — Nibby, Antonio — Roma nell' anno j8j8, part i. vol. ii. p. 
442. Nichols, Fr. Morgan — The Ro7nan Forum, p. 294. Parker, J. H. — 
The via Sacra in Rome, London, 1876, plate 38. Donaldson — Architectura 
numism., n. 79. De Rossi — Piante di Roma, p. 76, n. i. 


III. Meta Sudans (Plan No. II.), a fountain called nieta from 
its shape like a goal of the circus, or from its location at the meeting 
point of four regions, II, III,- IV, X, and sudans from the playing 
of its water in sprays and cascades. — The Chronicon of Cassio- 
dorus names Domitian as its founder, and the year 97 as the 
date of its construction. Perhaps Domitian only enlarged 
and embellished a fountain already existing, because a meta 
of pyramidal shape appears in the medal struck in the year 
80 for the dedication of the Cohseum ; and besides Seneca, 
who died in 65, mentions the neighbourhood of the fountain 
as the place where people would try new bugles and flutes, 
and make an unbearable noise {Ep. Ivi. 5). The round 
basin of the present day dates from the time of Constantine. 
When Ficoroni excavated it for the first time in 1743, there were 
6 metres of rubbish around the meta. It is represented in the 
marble mouth of the well of the Vatican museum, Corridoio delle 
Iscrizioni, compartment XIII., right side, the photo of which is 
marked No. 4671 in Parker's collection, Nibby, however, declares 
that this meta is the work of a modern restorer. A church of S. 
Maria de Meta is mentioned by Armellini {C/iiese, 2nd ed., p. 522). 

Literature. — Cohen — Monn. imp., vol. i. p. 362, n. 184; p. 359, n. 
163. Donaldson — Arch, iiumisin., n. 79. Ficoroni — Vestigie di Ro7nn, 
vol. i. p. 36. Cassio, Alberto — Corso delle acque, vol. ii. p, 194. Nibby, 
Antonio — Roma Jiell' anno i8j8, part i, vol. i. p. 370. 

IV. Arch of Constantine (Plan No. III.) — The origin of this 
noble monument is described in Pagajt a?td Christian Rome, p. 20. 
It was raised in A.D. 315 to commemorate the victory of the first 
Christian Emperor over Maxentius, with marbles taken at random 
from other public and private monuments. The bas-reliefs of the 
attic, the statues of the Dacian kings, the eight medallions above 
the side arches, the eight columns of giallo antico, and the greater 
part of the entablature were removed from a triumphal arch of 
Trajan, probably from the " Arcus divi Traiani," which spanned 
the via Appia near the porta Capena. A piece of the inscription, 
probably from the same arch, is to be found in the Coliseum. 1 

The two bas-reliefs on each side of the middle passage are 
attributed by Nibby to the time of Gordianus the younger, all 
the rest to the time of Constantine. The inside of the structure 
is also built with a great variety of materials taken from monu- 
ments inscribed with the names of the Fabii and of the Arruntii, 

^ Bull. arch, com., 1880, p. 217, n. 9. 


the carvings and inscriptions of which are still perfect. The bricks 
alone are contemporary with Constantine, and are stamped with 
the well-known seal 0\\ficinae) ?,{acrac) R{a/wm's). 

The name of the pious Emperor saved the arch from destruc- 
tion in the darkest period of mediaeval history. A little church 
dedicated to the Saviour also shielded it from damage ; it was 
called S. Salvatore de Trasi from the name of " Arcus Traseus," 
or Arco de' Trasi, given to the monument in the twelfth centur)', 
perhaps from the statues of the Thracian (Dacian) prisoners which 
stand on the attic. 

Giovio and others have accused Lorenzino de' Medici, the 
murderer of duke Alessandro, of having decapitated the statues 
and some of the bas-reliefs of the arch. He was capable of the 
deed, but the charge is not proved. The heads were not removed 
to Florence : in fact, no one has ever seen them ; one only was 
found buried deep in the ground at the foot of the arch about 
1795. The state of the sculptures in the sixteenth century is 
most carefully reproduced in a drawing of the Laing collection at 
Edinburgh (vol, xi. pi. 24). Paul III. removed the earth which 
covered the arch up to the plinth of the columns, to prepare the 
way for the triumphal entry of Charles V. Clement VIII. laid 
hands on one of the columns of giallo antico, to make it pair 
with another from the forum of Trajan, and placed both under 
the organ in the transept of the Lateran. 

The " conservatori " of Rome and Clement XII. ordered a 
general restoration of the arch in 1731. The works were super- 
intended by marchese Alessandro Capponi, who made use of a 
great piece of the marble entablature of the Neptunium, which 
had just been found near the piazza di Pietra, The missing 
column was replaced, although of different marble ; the heads of 
nine Dacian kings and one of the statues (the third on the S. Gre- 
gorio side) were also replaced. The site of the latter was occupied 
by a fragment which is now kept in the Capitoline museum. The 
words AD ARCVM are engraved on its plinth, an address for the 
porters who had to remove it from the sculptor's studio to the arch. 

The arch of Constantine has been a favourite subject for 
artists since the early Renaissance. It appears many times in the 
background of famous pictures, like the "Dispute of S. Catherine," 
by Pinturicchio, in the appartamento Borgia ; or in the " Castigo 
del fuoco celeste," by Sandro Botticelli, in the Sixtine chapel, of 
which a reproduction is given in the next page (Fig. 73). 

When I first visited the staircase and the rooms in the attic 


storey, on February 27th, 1879, the signature of a visitor which 
struck me at the first landing was that of Michaelangelo, dated 
1494 (genuine?). Antonio da Sangallo the elder and Cheru- 
bino Alberti have also left accounts of their exploration of those 

Literature. — Corpus laser., vol. vi. n. 1139. De Rossi — Bull, crist., 
1863, p. 49. Rohault, de Fleury — L'arc de Constanlin, in Revue archtol. , 
Sept. 1863, p. 250. Henzen, Wilhelm — Bull. Inst., 1863, p. 183. Nibby, 
Aniomo— Roma ?ieir an?ioi8j8, parti, vol. i. p. 443. Beschreibung der Stadt 
Rom, iii. i, p. 314. Guattani, Antonio — Roma descritta, i, p. 41. Schreiber, 
Theodor — Berichtefi der k. sacks. Gesellschaft der IVissenschaffeti, April 1892, 
p. 121. Petersen, Eugene — Mittheih, 1889, p. 314. 

V. Aedes Romae et Veneris (temple of Venus and Rome), 
Plan No. IV., designed and built by Hadrian on the site of the 
vestibule of the Golden House. — As the temple of Castor and 
Pollux was named in progress of time from Castor alone, so that 
of Venus and Rome is called simply templum Urbis by the Vita 
Hadr., Urbis fanum and deliibrum Roviae by others. The founda- 
tion-stone was laid on the birthday of Rome, April 21st, A.D. 121, 
and the dedication solemnised in 135. Antonio Nibby, who con- 
ducted the excavations of the temple from November 1827 to 
December 1829, found many brick-stamps of 1 23, and a few of 1 24. 
Dion Cassius relates that, when the work was already in progress, 
Hadrian submitted his drawings to Apollodoros of Damascus, the 
illustrious architect of Trajan's forum, whom in a fit of jealousy 
he had already banished to a remote island. The architect 
did not disguise his opinion : the statues, he said, were too large 
for their niches, and the temple ought to have been raised 
much higher, so as to be seen to greater advantage from 
the side of the clivus Sacer. This arrangement, besides, would 
have permitted the construction of caves and vaults under the 
foundation, useful both for storing the machinery of the amphi- 
theatre and for preparing it out of sight for immediate use. It is 
related that the great man paid for his criticism with his life.^ 

The temple was brought to perfection by Antoninus Pius, on 
whose medals it appears with the legend romae aeternae^ — 
VENERI FELICI, perhaps the very one engraved on either front 
of the structure. Having been greatly injured by fire in 307, 
it was restored by Maxentius, whose brick - stamps, OYY{icina) 
B{tt7n??zae) R(i?/), Y{ecit) T>OM{itites), are found in great numbers 
in the walls of the double cella. Ammianus Marcellinus includes 
^ Nichols — The Roman Forum, p. 294. 



it among the marvels of Rome (a.D. 356). In 391 it was closed 

and abandoned to its fate, but the solidity of the building was 
such that two centuries later we find it still intact. Pope 


Honorius I. (625-640) obtained from the Emperor Heraclius the 
gilt-bronze tiles of the roof, which he removed to that of S. Peter's. 
Many of these were carried off by the Saracens in the loot of 
846 ; those left on the roof of the nave, seen and described by 
Grimaldi in 1606, must have been melted by Paul V., together 
with the other bronzes of the fountain of Symmachus. (See Pagan 
and Christian Rome, p. 136.) Paul I. (757-767) built a church in 
honour of SS. Peter and Paul on the vestibule of the temple facing 
the Forum, where the fall of Simon the Magician was believed to 
have taken place. Two small cavities in one of the paving stones 
of the Sacra via were shown to the faithful, as the marks left by 
the knees of the prince of the Apostles while praying for the 
discomfiture of the impostor. The stones are still kept in the 
present church of S. Francesca Romana, on the right of the tomb 
of Gregory XI. The chapel of Paul I. did not last long : at the 
time of Leo IV. (847-855) its place was occupied by the church 
of S. Maria, called nova in opposition to that of S. Maria antiqiia, 
still existing, behind the remains of the Augustaeum. The present 
edifice, dedicated to S. Francesca Romana, dates from the time 
of Paul v., 161 2. 

All these chapels and churches were built at the expense of 
the temple. Nibby says that the bed of rubbish immediately 
above the antique pavement was composed of architectural frag- 
ments, split and charred ; that he found in 1819a limekiln 
near the arch of Titus, bordered by pieces of precious columns 
of porphyry — a material refractory to fire — and filled with 
sculptured fragments ; and that, while restoring the church of 
S. Francesca in 1828 and 1829, he found the walls built with 
pieces of marble ; yet enough plunder was left among the 
ruins of the temple to satisfy the greed of scores of modern 
excavators. Flaminio Vacca could purchase about 1575 slabs of 
Greek marble from the pavement of the cella facing the Coliseum, 
which he describes as a " cosa stupenda." Ligorio says that 
pieces of columns and of the entablature found by the monks of 
S. Maria, in adding a wing to their convent, were made use of in 
the "fabbrica di S. Pietro." Other beautiful marbles are described 
and designed by the Gobbo da Sangallo. An oval basin of a 
fountain of oriental granite, 5-57 metres in diameter, discovered 
also in the sixteenth century, was " ruinato dalle scellerate mani " 
of the excavators. At last, when these vandals thought that 
nothing was left to plunder above ground, they attacked the 
foundations of the portico and temple, which were built of blocks 



of travertine or peperino. Not one is left in situ. The annexed plan 
(Fig. 74) explains the form and architecture of the building. The 
portico enclosing the sacred area had columns of grey granite, 
seventy-two pieces of which have escaped destruction, simply 
because they were unfit for the limekiln and too hard to be made 

KIG. 75. — U A- 


use of. If these columns were raised into their former position, 
as has been done with those of the basilica Ulpia, the temple of 
Venus and Rome would become the most picturesque ruin of this 
classic district. The peristyle of the double cella was made of 
shafts of cipollino, six feet in diameter. There is one fragment 


lying on the north-east side of the platform, which the stonecutters 
engaged in the repairs of S. Paolo fuori le mura had begun to 
saw, to make discs for the pavement of that church. This last 
act of destruction was stopped by Carlo F'ea, then Superintendent 
of Antiquities, who broke the saw and put the stonecutters to 

The drains which run parallel with the wings of the portico 
are beautifully preserved; they are 270 metres high, 0-90 wide, 
and the tiles of their roofs are marked with the consulates 
of Paetinus and Apronianus (a.d. 123), and Servianus III. and 
Varus (125). The north corner of the platform is built over the 
remains — still visible through a trap-door — of a private mansion. 
They include part of the atrium with the impluvium paved with 
pieces of blue, green, and white enamel. 

The temple is represented in a bas-rehef, formerly in the Muti 
house, piazza della Pescheria, and now half in the museo delle 
Terme, half in the Lateran ! An illustration of it has lately been 
given by prof. Petersen in the Mittheilungen of 1896 (see Fig. 75). 

Literature. — Dion Cassius, Ixix. 5. Amm. Marcellin. , xvi. lo. Vacca, 
Flaminio — Memorie, n. 73. Fea, Carlo — Miscellanea, vol. i. p. 85, note {a). 
Id. — Varietd di Notizie, p. 137. Nibby — Roma antica, vol. ii. p. 723. 
Parker, J, H. — Archaeology of Rome, vol. ii. p. 86. Lanciani, Rodolfo — 
L itinerario di Einsiedlen, pp. 62-67. Id. — Milanges de V P.cole frangaise 
de Rome, 1891, p. 164, pi. 3. Nichols, F. M. — The Roman Forum, p. 293. 

Cesarto in Palatio (Plan No. V.) See p. 170. 

VII. TURRLS Chartularia (Plan No. VI.) See p. 173. 

VIII. Temple of Jupiter Stator (Plan No. VII.) — The 
Turris Chartularia marks most likely the site of the temple of 
Jupiter Stator, and the blocks of peperino of which its foundations 
are built belong probably to the cella. The temple vowed by 
Romulus, during his first encounter with the Sabines in the valley 
of the Forum, was built only in 296 by M. Atilius Regulus. 
Classics place it near the Mugonia gate of the Palatine, at the 
highest point of the Nova via, near the highest point of the 
Sacra via, and within the limits of the fourth region. The four 
indications concur in locating the temple on the site of the Turris 
Chartularia, side by side with the arch of Titus ; and in precisely 
this position do we find it in the famous pictorial bas-relief of the 
Haterii, exhibited in the tenth room of the Lateran museum. 
According to this sculptural sketch the temple was of the Co- 


rinthian order, and hexastyle, the front facing the north. It is 
hardly necessary to remind the reader that a certain mass of 
concrete at the entrance of Domitian's palace on the Palatine hill, 


described in books and shown to visitors as the temple of Stator, 
has nothing in common with it. That mass of concrete belongs 
to the foundations of one of the towers built by the Frangipanis 
to make their Palatine stronghold a locus tutissimus. 

Literature. — Brunn, Emil — Annali dell' Inst., vol. xxi. 1849, p. 370. 
Jordan, Heinrich — Topographic, i^, p. 277. Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide io the 
Public Collections of Rome, vol. i. p. 496, n. 671. Forma Urbis, pi. xxix. 


\'igna Barberini. S. Sebastiano in Pallara 

// 'alker &■ Boutallsc. 

IX. Arch of Titus (Plan No. VIII.) — It stands at the west 
corner of the great platform of Venus and Rome, at the highest 


point of the Sacra via ; it is called, therefore, arcus in Sacra via 
siimnia in the bas-relief of the Haterii given above. The title 

of divus (deified) given to the conqueror of Judaea in the inscrip- 
tion of the attic {Corpus^ vol. vi, n. 945), as well as the relief of his 
apotheosis, shows that the monument was finished only after his 


death. The style is that prevalent in Domitian's time, with a 
superabundance of carving in the architectural lines. Having been 
included in the fortifications of the Frangipanis, it suffered great 
damage during the fights of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 
To ensure its safety after the demofition of the tower and houses by 
which it was partly supported, Giuseppe Valadier took down the 
whole structure piece by piece in 1822, strengthened the founda- 
tions, and reconstructed it in its present form, completing the 
missing parts in travertine so as to make them easily distinguish- 
able from the originals, which are in pentelic marble. The bas- 
reliefs on the left represent the triumph of Titus, those on the right 
the spoils taken from the temple of Zion, like the seven-branched 
candlestick (from which comes the name of arcus Septem Licccr- 
naru7n given to the arch in the Middle Ages), the golden table, the 
silver trumpets, etc. These spoils were deposited in the temple 
of Peace in a.d. 75, five years after the conquest of Judaea, together 
with a marvellous collection of works of art, which included a 
statue of Naukides from Argos, a figure of the Nile surrounded by 
the sixteen infants all cut in a single block of basalte ferrigno, the 
lalysos (a celebrated picture of Protogenes), the Scylla of Niko- 
machos, the Hero of Parrhasios, and many other masterpieces. 
All these, except the Jewish relics, perished in the fire of A.D. 191. 
They ultimately fell a prey to Genseric, and were landed safely 
at Carthage in 455, where, eighty years later, Belisarius recaptured 
them and sent them to Constantinople (?). 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 945 f943f. Flavius, Joscphus — 
Jud., book vii. 17. Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. p. 490. Ancient 
Rome, p. 291. 

Nearly opposite the arch, at the corner of the porticus Mar- 
garitaria on the Nova via, is a shapeless mass of concrete, believed 
to be the pedestal of the equestrian statue of Cloelia, described by 
Livy, Seneca, Plutarch, and Servius. The surmise is not im- 
probable, especially as we know that the group was still existing 
in Sacra via siwiina at the time of Servius, viz. at the beginning 
of the fifth century. A century later Cassiodorus mentions as yet 
visible in the same place a group of bronze elephants. 

Literature. — Becker — De viuris atque portis, p. 38. Nichols — The Roman 
Forum, p. 311. 

X. Basilica nova (basilica of Constantine), Plan No. IX. — 
The space of ground covered by this vast building was probably 
occupied at an early age by the macelltini or forum Ciipedinis^ 2i 



BOOK jj 

market for the sale of fruit, honey, flowers, and wreaths, the last 
mention of which occurs under Augustus. Domitian built on part 
of the ground the horrea Piperataria^ warehouses for oriental 
spices, Avhich were burnt down in the fire of 191, together with 
many private houses, one of which, discovered in 1 8 1 1 under the 
right aisle, is described by Fea {Varieta di Notizie^ p. 24). I have 
myself seen traces of other buildings, on the occasion of repairs 
made to the water-pipe which supplies the fountains of the Palatine 
and which crosses the basilica diagonally. The basilica was begun 
by Maxentius and finished by Constantine, partly with materials 


found on the spot, partly with bricks made expressly in one of 
the officinae summae rei. Hundreds of these were found in the 
excavations of 1 880. It seems that when Maxentius lost his life in 
the battle of October 27th, 312, the basilica was very nearly com- 
pleted, as shown by the discovery of a silver medallion — bearing 
the legend MAXENTIUS v{iiis) Y{elix) AUG(?^j/2/j-)^made in 1828, 
in a block of masonry fallen from the highest point of the building. 
The basilica had a nave and two aisles. The noble vaulted 
ceiling of the nave, 82 metres long and 25 broad, was supported 
by eight fluted columns of proconnesian marble, of which only two 
appear in the vignettes and designs of the Renaissance. Such is, 
for instance, a sketch by Bramante in the Ufizi collection (No. i 7 1 1 ), 



which shows one between the first and second arch with its 
capital and entablature, and another without capital between the 
second and third. This last must have disappeared at the time 
when Sangallo the elder was directing the works of S. Peter's ; 
certainly he made use of its base, which is described by Dosio as 


^l. .^i 


" larga piedi 8 dita 7 . . . ed e la basa d" una delle colonne . . . 
che fu portata (a S. Pietro) a tempo che era architetto el Sangallo." 
The other pillar, so conspicuous in the vignettes of the sixteenth 
century — among which I may mention the one painted by Raphael's 
pupils in the last room, first floor, of the Farnesina — was removed 
to the piazza di S. Maria Maggiore by Paul V. in 161 3, and set 


up in honour of the Virgin, as described in Pagan and Christian 
Rome^ p. 136. We can account also for the fate of a third base. 
It suppHed the material for the statue of Alexander Farnese, now 
in the sala dei Capitani, palazzo dei Conservatori. 

The basilica, in its original construction, faced the east, and was 
entered from the side of the temple of Venus and Rome by a clumsy 
portico out of proportion with the rest of the edifice. Later on a 
new entrance was opened on the south side facing the Sacra via, 
and a new tribune built in harmony with it. The entrance was 
decorated with four large columns of porphyry, pieces of which 
were found in 1487, 18 19, and 1879, and restored to the place to 
which they belong. Here also were discovered the fragments of 
the colossal marble statue of Domitian, now in the cortile dei 

The collapse of this ungraceful structure must date from a 
comparatively recent time, because Nibby asserts that he saw traces 
of a Christian fresco painting of the thirteenth century in the north 
apse. Perhaps the ceiling of the nave fell in the earthquake of 
1349, described by Petrarch {Epist. x. 2), carrying down with it 
the greater portion of the south aisle. The roof of the north aisle, 
still perfect, was granted by the city to Eurialo Silvestri in 1547, 
who laid out a garden on the top of it and filled it with antiques. 
The basilica itself was used as a cattle-shed until 17 14, when it 
was granted to marchese Emilio de' Cavalieri for a riding-school. 
Ten years later I find it used as a hay-loft by the architect Barigioni. 
The French invaders began excavating it in 181 2, and Pius VII. 
continued their work in 18 18- 19. Nibby laid bare the pave- 
ment in 1828, which remained, in good condition till the second 
French invasion of 1849. The basilica having been selected as a 
drilling-place for French recruits, the last trace of the pavement 
was destroyed about 1854 by the tread of feet. 

Literature. — Fea, Carlo — La basilica di Costantino shandita dalla via 
Sacra. Roma, 1819. Id. — Prodromo di nuove osservazio?ii, 1816, p. 24. 
Id. — Miscellatiea, vol. ii. p. 47. Nibby, Antonio — Delia via Sacra, etc., p. 
189. Id. — Del tenipio della Pace e deUa basilica di Costantino. Roma, 1819. 
\6..—Roma antica, vol. ii. p. 238. Ratti, Nicola — Su le 7-ovine del tempio 
delta Pace. Roma, 1823. Bunsen, Beschreibuvg, vol. iii, p. 291. Notizie 
degli Scavi, 1879-80. Lanciani, R. — Bzillett. comun., 1876, p. 48. 

The basilica was freed from the granaries and factories and iron- 
works which concealed its northern apse between March 1878 and 
February 1880, w^hen the tunnel known in the Middle Ages as the 
ARCO DI LATRONE was again made accessible (Plan No. X.) 



Before the construction of the basiHca direct communication 
existed between the Sacra via and the region of the Carinae, the 
cross-street passing between the forum of Peace and the ware- 
houses of oriental spices {horrea Piperatat'id). Maxentius 
brought his building into contact with the forum of Peace and 
obstructed the passage. To obviate the consequences of the 
obstruction and to save the citizens a long detour, a subway was 
opened under the north-east corner of the basilica. The subway 
is about 4 metres wide and i 5 long ; it is paved with tiles inscribed 
with the stamp of the Imperial kilns, OFF • s • R • F • OCEN ; the 


side walls are worn with longitudinal grooves to the height of cart- 
wheels. When the adjoining temple of the Sacra Urbs was dedi- 
cated by pope Felix IV. (526-530) to SS. Cosmas and Damianus, 
one end of the passage was walled up and the passage itself turned 
into a sepulchral cave. Loculi resembling those of the catacombs 
are still to be seen in the upper part of the walls, and two or three 
appear in the illustration above. At a much later period hogsheads 
of wine took the places of the dead. 

This passage was known in the Middle Ages as the " arco di 
Latrone." Pirro Ligorio {BodL, f. 15) speaks of it as follows : — 
" The subway which we now call Latrone runs between the church 


of S. Cosma and the temple of Peace (the basihca of Constantine). 
After it had served as a burial-place at the time of the destruction 
of Rome, traffic was restored through it ; but being a lonely and 
dark place, murders and robberies were freely committed in it. 
To atone for these crimes, and to bring about a better state of 
things, the arco di Latrone was included in the itinerary of the 
famous procession of mid-August, when the image of the Saviour 
is removed from the Lateran to S. Maria maggiore." The pro- 
cession of " mezzo agosto," to which Ligorio refers, was one of the 
great events of mediaeval Rome ; the contest for precedence among 
the popular corporations afterwards degenerated into open fights 
and bloodshed. The magistrates of the city issued regulation after 
regulation, the last of which, engraved on marble in the antique 
style, is still to be seen in the vestibule of the palazzo dei Conser- 
vatori at the foot of the stairs. The regulations did no good : the 
pageant was preceded or followed by so many struggles that it left 
a bloody trail upon its path. It was suppressed in i 566 by pope 
Pius V. 

Literature. — Forcella, Vincenzo — Iscriz. delle chiese di Roma, vol. i. 
n. 60, p. 37. Marangoni, Giovanni — htoria dell' oratorio appellato Sancta 
Sanctorufn, Roma, 1747, p. 112. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Archivio della Societa 
di storia patria, vol. iii. p. 378. Id. — Itinerario di Einsiedlen, p. 119. 

XI. The Clivus Sacer, or gradient of the Sacra via by the 
basilica of Constantine (Plan No. XI.) — This tract, excavated be- 
tween March and June 1878, is the noblest and widest of the 
whole line. It measures 23 metres across from building to build- 
ing, and 12-35 metres between the side walks. Under the road- 
way runs a cloaca 2-10 metres high, 0*90 wide, built of bricks and 
vaulted over, with side embranchments to collect the waters from 
the north slope of the Palatine and from Constantine's basilica. 

The left side pavement, along the porticus Margaritaria and 
the house of the Vestals, is 8*20 metres wide, and entirely en- 
cumbered by monuments in honour of different people, dating 
mostly from the time of Septimius Severus and his successors. 
There are pedestals of single or equestrian statues, shrines, 
fountains, hemicycles, etc., which, found in a good state of preser- 
vation in 1879 '^rid 1882, have been since greatly injured by frost 
and neglect. The most important are : {a) the pedestal of a 
statue, probably of a Greek masterpiece, set up by Fabius Titianus, 
prefect of the city in A.D. 339-341, together with many others 
(see Corpus Inscr.^ vi. 1653); {b) that of a statue raised to 
Constantius by Flavins Leontius, prefect of the city in 355-356 ; 



{c) that of a statue of Titus ; id) an altar dedicated to the Lares 
aiigustl J {e) a shrine dedicated to Gordianus the younger by the 
people of Tharsos, together with his equestrian statue. This 

// a//t<?r <S- Botttall sc. 


graceful aedicula was supported by two columns of portasanta ; 
the letters tapceHn on the epistyle were of gilt metal. It 
could be reconstructed almost in a perfect manner. 

Literature. — Nutizie degli Scavi, 1879, P- i4> ^''■\'- ^'i-. ^'''fl P- 113 ! 1882, 
p. 216, tav. xiv.-xvi. Bu/I. com., 1878, p. 257; 1880, p, 80. 

On the side opposite the basilica Nova stood the 

XII. PORTICUS Margaritaria, an arcade for jewellers and 
goldsmiths (Plan No. XII, ) — The parallelogram between the 
Sacra and the Nova via, the arch of Titus and the house of the 
Vestals, remained a terra incognita to the topographer until the 
excavations of 1878-79. Instead of the aedes Pe?iafhan^ of the 
house of Tarquins, of the temple of Jupiter Stator, and other such 
edifices crowded into it by the fancy of modern students, it was 
found to contain a portico, supported by ten or eleven rows of stone 
pilasters (twenty-two in each row), similar in every respect to the 
porticus Saeptorum under the palazzo Doria, and to the porticus 
Vipsania under the (now demolished) palazzo Piombino. The 
stone pilasters stand 4 metres apart, and the covered galleries 
must have been lighted by openings in the vault. The classic 
name of this portico is easily found by referring to the Almanach of 





354, which mentions, among the edifices near to the Forum, a 
Porticus Margaritaria^ viz. a portico occupied by jewellers and 
goldsmiths. Considering that the jewellers and goldsmiths of the 
porticus Margarltaria call themselves de Sacra via, it is evident 
that the arcades opened on that very street. Part ii. of volume 
vi. of the Corpus Inscr. contains scores of epitaphs of these trades- 
men de Sacra via : there are ungueiitarii or perfumers ; aiirijices 
or goldsmiths ; an auri vesirix, weaver of gold cloth (?) ; caelatores, 
engrav^ers also in repousse work ; coronarii or wreath -makers ; 
flatiirarii, metal-casters ; geinDiarii and viargaritarii, dealers in 
jewels and pearls ; pigmentarli, makers of cosmetics ; tibiarii orflute- 



makers ; and negotiatores in general. Originally they must have 
exhibited their precious merchandise in booths and screens and 
desks under the shelter of the portico ; later on the portico was 
cut up into regular shops by means of brick walls raised between 
each pair of stone pilasters, exactly as was done with the Septa 
and with the porticus Vipsania. The space was cut up also 
vertically by means of wooden floors, so as to secure an office or 
a bedroom above the shop. 

The visitor who looks at the apparently iDarren site of the 
portico, may wonder how and where the subtle eyes of the topo- 
grapher can see all these details. The explanation is this. When 
the excavators, in search of building materials, attacked the ruins 


of the portico at the time of Alexander VII., under the leadership 
of Leonardo Agostini, they removed only the blocks of travertine 
of which the pilasters were built, and left alone the partition-walls 
of brick. The portico, therefore, is gone, except a few blocks which 
remain in situ here and there, especially on the side of the Nova 
via, but we can judge of its shape and size and aspect from the 
brick walls, which still show the marks of the blocks stolen away 
under pope Chigi. Many brick-stamps found in the excavations 
of 1879 mention the kilns of Domitia Lucilla, wife of Lucius Verus. 
The shops, therefore, must date from the second quarter of 
the second century, probably from the year 134. The whole 
building was not level, but followed the slope of the ground, like 
the inclined wings of Bernini's portico at the end of the piazza of 
S. Peter's. 

Literature. — Notizie degli Scavi, 1882, p. 228, Preller, Ludwig — Die 
Regiotien der Stadt Rom, p. 154. Forma Urbis Romae, pi. xxix. Pietro, 
Sante Bartoli — Metn. 50 in Fea's Miscellaiiea, vol. i. p. 234. Corpus inscr. , 
vol. vi. n. 1974, 9207, 9212, 9214, 9221, 9283, 9418, 9434, 9545, 9662, 9775. 

Continuing our descent of the clivus Sacer, after passing on 
the right the street leading to the Carinae, described § x., we 
find on the same side the monumental group of SS. Cosma e 
Damiano, which comprises a round vestibule, once the heroon 
Romttlt, and a square hall, once the te7npliun Sacrae Urbis. 

XIII. The Heroon Romuli (temple of Romulus, son of 
Maxentius), Plan No. XIII. — When this young prince died in 309, 
a coin was struck with the legend DIVO ROMVLO, on the reverse of 
which is represented a round monument erected to his memory. 
The Liber pojttijicalis^ John the deacon, and others mention the site 
of SS. Cosmas as that of a templum Romuli (meaning the founder 
of the city), and this tradition has lasted to our own time. (See 
Nibby — Roma nel 1838, part i. vol. ii. p. 710.) Commendatore 
de Rossi, with the help of a fragmentary inscription which still 
remained affixed to the building towards 1550, has been able to 
prove, first, that the round vestibule of SS. Cosma e Damiano and 
the heroon Romuli are one and the same thing ; secondly, that the 
heroon was still unfinished when Maxentius lost his life at the 
battle of Saxa rubra on October 27th, 312. The Senate com- 
pleted the rotunda, and dedicated it — together with the basilica 
— to Constantine. Pope Felix IV. (526-530) cut open a com- 
munication between the rotunda and the tempiiun Sacrae Urbis 
behind it, and dedicated both to SS. Cosmas and Damianus, 
physicians and martyrs. 



The style of the heroon shows a decided dedine in taste 
and elegance. Instead of a round marble cella surrounded 
by a peristyle of fluted Corinthian pillars, as we see in the temple 
of Matuta, of Hercules Magnus Custos, etc., we are confronted 
with a clumsy mixture of curved and straight lines, a round hall 
between two rectangular ones, a front with a hemicycle between 
the middle columns, and two doors between each side couple. 


Two columns (of cipollino) are left standing ; a third was removed 
at^the time of Urban VIII. ; the site of the fourth is only marked 
by its socle. The most conspicuous portion of the building is the 
entrance door, with bronze folds and an elaborate entablature 
supported by two columns of porphyry. The door and its orna- 
ments were raised to the level of the modern city by pope Barberini 
about 1630. The Italian Government restored it to its ancient 
site in 1879. I may add that when Urban VIII. repaired the 
roof of the cupola, the cupola itself was in imminent danger of 


collapsing. We found wedged in its cracks roots of ilexes over 
lo centimetres in diameter, the remains of a vegetation many 
hundred years old. 

Literature. — De Rossi, Gio. Battista — B?(ll. crist., 1867, p. 66. Lanciani 
Rodolfo — Bull, com., 1882, p. 29. pi. 9. Corpus hiscr., vol. vi. n. 1147. 
Armellini, Mariano — Chiese di Roma, pp. 152 and 155 NoHzie degli Sravi, 

XIV. Templum Sacrae Urbis (archives of the Cadastre), 
Plan No. XIV. — The inner rectangular hall, 
back of the heroon Romuli, was built by 
Vespasian in 78. 

When this wise prince took the reins of 
empire after the great disasters which had 
befallen the capital under Nero and Vitellius, 
the city was still " deformis veteribus in- 
cendiis atque minis." Its state may be com- 
pared to that of Paris after the Commune 
as far as public buildings are concerned, but 
we must go back to the Chicago fire of 1871 
to find a parallel for the thousands of palaces, 
tenementhouses, temples, and shrines destroyed, 
the ruins of which covered ten regions out of 
fourteen. Between "J'^ and 75 the high priests, fig. 85. -plan of 
magistrates, architects, surveyors, and military ss. cosma e damiano. 
engineers, under the leadership of the censors, 
attended to the reorganisation of the city both materially and 
from an administrative point of view. The last Roman census 
in the ancient fashion was taken in 74, the city area and limits 
were defined, the ground surveyed, the line of the Servian walls 
and that of the octroi measured, together with the length of the 
streets radiating from the golden milestone towards the gates, 
the fourteen wards divided into many hundred " compita larum " 
(parishes ?), the cadastre of public and private property revised 
and brought up to date, the pomerium enlarged, the streets 
straightened and repaved, the temples rebuilt, and a new and 
revised map of the city made. All the documents connected 
with these geodetic and financial operations were deposited in a 
fire-proof building erected for the purpose on the south-west side 
of the forum of Peace, between it and the Sacra via. The hall 
had two entrances, one from the north-west, decorated with a 
portico of six columns, on the epistyle of which the following 
inscription was engraved : — 



imp ' Cacs • 7/eSFASlA'N2/S • AVG • PONT • MAX • TRIBVN • /<?/ • ?//// 

z'mpp • caess - jevervs 



(This epistyle was broken, with the fall of the portico, in foiir 
pieces. Two are missing; one was found about 1530 in the 

piazza della Consolazione ; the 
last in 16 1 2 near the steps of 
^ S. Francesca Romana.) The 
second entrance, still perfect, 
opened on the street described 

^ X. 

This monumental 



visible, see Fig. 86). The walls 
zontal bands bv finelv-cut cornices. 


has been designed and illus- 
trated by Middleton in the Ee- 
711 ail IS of Ancient Roine, vol. i. 
p. 41. The last two lines of 
the inscription, which contain 
the names of Severus and Cara- 
calla, refer to the restorations 
made by these Emperors to the 
edifice, considerably damaged 
by the fire of Commodus. Thei r 
work can be easily recognised 
from the fact that while Ves- 
pasian's hall was of " opus 
quadratum," of tufa strength- 
ened with blocks of travertine 
at the corners, the restorations 
of 2 1 1 are of bricks. When 
Panvinio and Ligorio described 
and designed the building 
towards the middle of the six- 
teenth century it was practically 
intact, the only changes which 
it had gone through when 
christianised by Felix IV. being 
in the apse and the altar. They 
described the hall as lighted by 
fifteen large windows (three still 
Avere divided into three hori- 
The upper band was occupied 




by the windows, as in our old churches ; the lower was simply lined 
with marble slabs covered by the bookcases and screens which 
contained the papers and records and maps of the Cadastre ; the 
middle one was encrusted with tarsia-work of the rarest kinds of 
marble, with panels representing panoplies, the Wolf with the infant 
founders of Rome, and other such allegorical scenes. A particular 
that may surprise the reader is that a large percentage of the tiles 
of the present roof are ancient, their dates varying from the time 
of Caracalla to that of Theoderic. After the restoration of Cara. 


calla the place took the name of teinphim Sacrae Urbis. This 
most perfect of the buildings in the classic district of the Sacra via 
was mercilessly mutilated by pope Urban VIII. in 1632. He 
raised the level of the church by 24 feet, destroyed the stone walls 
which made it fire-proof, and sold or gave up the stones to the 
Jesuits for their church of S. Ignazio. The bronze gates of the 
heroon were wrenched from their sockets and rebuilt out of place 
in symmetry with the axis of the church ; the historic inscription of 
Constantine was destroyed, and the precious incrustations of the 
nave were obliterated. The Christian decorations of the edifice 
had no better fate. There was a ciborium in the apse, made about 


1 1 50 by Guy, cardinal of SS. Cosma e Damiano, a masterpiece 
of the school of Paolo Romano, signed by four of his son's pupils : 
MAGISTRI FVERVNT. It was levelled to the ground, together with 
the ambones of Sergius I. (695). The frescoes in the lower portion 
of the walls were white-washed. Pope Barberini laid his hands 
also on the mosaics of the apse, mutilating those of the arch as 
well as those of the " calotta." Lastly, he called the monks to 
help in the work of destruction, and a brief dated 1630 (discovered 
by Armellini . in the Archivio dei Brevi) gave them "licentiam 
effodiendi lapides " as they pleased. 

The fame of the templum Sacrae Urbis comes, however, from 
another cause. When Agrippa and Augustus surveyed the city 
in 8 B.C., the result of their labours, viz. the plan or Forma Urbis, 
was publicly exhibited in the porticus Vipsania on the via Fla- 
minia (Aug. ist, 7 B.C.) Vespasian, likewise, must have exhibited 
the plan of the city, reconstructed, after the fire, by Nero and by 
himself, in this building of SS. Cosma e Damiano. The third 
edition of the map, representing the city rebuilt and reorganised 
by Severus and Caracalla after the fire of Commodus, was certainly 
affixed to the outside wall of the building, looking on the forum of 
Peace. This celebrated " Forma Urbis," engraved on marble at 
an approximate scale of i : 250, the fragments of which are ex- 
hibited in the Capitoline museum, has been described at length 
in Book I. p. 96. 

Literature on the heroon Romuli and the templum Sacrae Urbis. — De Rossi, 
Gio. Battista — BulL arch, crist., 1867, p. 66; and 1891, p. 76, n. 3. Id. 
— Musaici delle chiese di Roma, part iv. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull. com. , 
1882, p. 29, tav. iii.-x. Armellini, Mariano — Chiese di Roma, 2nd ed. p. 152. 
Nardoni, Leone — Di alcune sotterr. confessioni nelle atitiche basiliche. Roma, 
1881. Notizie degli Scavi, i^jg-So passim ; Siad Bull, com., 1881, p. 8. 

On the name Urbs Aeterna and Urbs Sacra consult F. G. Moore in Transact. 
Ainer. Philol. Association, 1894, 34. 

The back wall of the temple, covered by the marble plan, formed 
at the same time part of the enclosure of the forum of Peace 
(Plan No. XV.), the pavement of which is inlaid with slabs of 
portasanta. The pavement has been uncovered both at the foot 
of the wall, where it is still to be seen, and under the house via 
del tempio della Pace, No. 11, where it lies buried under 38 
feet of rubbish. I have already mentioned (§ ix.) some of 
the famous ornaments of this forum ; we may add to the list a 
gallery of statues of famous athletes from Greece, of which we 
heard the first time in March 1891, when a marble pedestal 


was discovered at the corner of the via del Sole and the Salara 
vecchia, bearing the inscription riYGOK AH2 • HAEI02 • HENT- 
A0AO2 . (7ro)AYKAEITOY • (Apye)ioY. It refers to the cele- 
brated statue of Pythokles, a work of Polykletos, the original of 
which was erected at Olympia, in memory of exploits of the former 
in the pentathlon. There the statue was seen by Pausanias {\\. 
7, 10), and there also its pedestal was rediscovered by the Germans 
in 1879 between the temples of Juno and Pelops. The original 
figure must have been leaning on the right leg, as shown by the 
marks on the plinth, whereas the Roman copy seems to ha\e been 
leaning the opposite way, unless the pedestal has been made use 
of twice, before and after the first barbaric invasion. The loss of 
the Roman replica is deeply to be regretted because we have no 
specimen of the work of the second Polykletos. The pedestal is 
exhibited in the garden of the museo Municipale al Celio. 

A little below the temple of Romulus the Sacra via was spanned 
by the 

XV. Fornix Fabianus (the arch of Q. Fabius Allobrogicus), 
Plan No. XVI. — On the left footway of the Sacra via, nearly 
opposite the street which divides the temple of Faustina from 
the heroon Romuli, are lying several blocks of travertine, with 
mouldings, cornices, and capitals of very simple design. They 
were discovered in 1882 in the middle of the street, not one 
standing in its original site. Ancient writers place at this exact 
point the fornix or archway erected by Q. Fabius Maximus Allo- 
brogicus, consul 121 B.C., in memory of his successful campaign 
against the Allobroges and Arverni. The monument was cele- 
brated more from its location than for architectural value or size. 
Crassus the orator used to say of Memmius, he thought himself so 
great that he could not enter the Forum without stooping his head 
at the arch of Fabius. Cicero places it at the foot of the clivus 

The remains of the arch were certainly dug up in 1543, but 
the statements of contemporary writers are so contradictory that 
it seems impossible to make out the truth. Some assert that the 
stones inscribed with the name of the conqueror of Savoy were 
found built in the vault of the Cloaca maxima. Others describe 
not only the exact spot where the arch stood, but also its 
decorations, trophies, victories, etc. Judging from the existing 
fragments, it was a very simple structure, worthy of the austerity 
of Republican times. The diameter of the archway measured 


3*94 metres. It was built of travertine on the outside, with the 
core of tufa and travertine. Near or upon it were statues of 
L. Aemilius Paullus and of P. CorneHus Scipio Africanus. 

Literature. — Cicero— Z)g oral., ii. 66 ; and Pro Plaiicio, 7. Corpus In sir., 
vol. i. p. 178 ; and vol. vi. n. 1303, 1304. De Rossi, Gio Battista — DelV 
area Fabiano 7iel Faro, in Annal. Inst., 1859, vol, xxxi. p. 307. Notizie degli 
Scavi, 1882, p. 224, tav. xvi. Nichols — The Roman Forum, p. 126. Th6- 
denat, in Dareniberg and Saglio's Dictiormaire, p. 1302, n. 28. 

The last building on the right side of the Sacra via, before 
reaching the Forum, is the 

XVI. Aedes divi Pii et divae Faustinae, or temple of 
Antoninus and Faustina — church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda (Plan 
No. XVII.) — When Antoninus Pius lost his wife, Faustina the 
elder, in A.D. 141, the Senate voted a temple to commemorate 
her apotheosis, with priestesses attached to it, with gold and 
silver statues, etc. On the architrave of the temple this simple 
inscription was engraved : 


The same divine honours were given to Antoninus after his 
death in 161 ; and his name was added to that of Faustina 
on the frieze, with little consideration for the laws of epigraphic 
symmetry. (See Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 1005.) The edifice was 
named from the last occupant, acdes divi Pii. It is prostyle, 
with six columns on the front and three on the sides. The 
columns are of Carystian or cipollino marble, which had come 
into great fashion since the time of Hadrian. The frieze, with its 
griffins, vases, candelabra, and festoons, is considered a marvel 
of art. 

In the wide space covered by the pronaos there were statues 
of friends or relatives of the Antonines, like those of Vitrasius 
Pollio {Corpus^ I 540), husband of Annia Faustina, governor of Asia 
and of lower Moesia, consul A.D. 138 and 176; and of Bassaeus 
Rufus {ibid.., 1599), one of the victorious leaders in the Marco- 
mannic campaign. The temple is represented in contemporary 
medals, as well as in a bas-relief of the villa Medici. (See BiclL 
Iftst., 1853, p. 141.) Its remains, most beautifully preserved, were 
dedicated to S. Lawrence in the seventh or eighth century, probably 
by a devout lady named Miranda (compare the names of S. 
Lorenzo in Formoso, in Damaso, in Lucina, etc.) This saved 
them from destruction until the time of Urban V. (i 362-1 370), 
v/ho allowed the temple to be reduced to the present state, to 



provide stones and marbles for the reconstruction of the Lateran. 
Martin V. granted the church in 1430 to the corporation of 
apothecaries, who built shrines and chapels in the inter- 
columniations of the portico, protected by a roof the slanting- 
traces of which are still visible. Roof and chapels were de- 
molished by Paul III. on the occasion of the entry of Charles V. 
Fra Giocondo da Verona mentions more than once excavations 
made round the temple at the end of the fifteenth century, by 
which he and Peruzzi were enabled to take measurements of the 

substructures and basement ; but no further spoliation seems to 
have been committed until the temple was again given up by the 
same Paul III. to the deputies for the fabbrica di S. Pietro. 

The results of the loot of 1540 are set forth as follows by 
Ligorio {BodL, p. 28) : — " I shall now describe some marbles found 
at the foot of the temple, when they were searching for, and 
removing to S. Peter's, the beautiful steps, an act of vandalism 
which I cannot condemn too strongly. There was a bas-relief re- 
presenting Nereids riding on dolphins; a portion of the figure which 
stood on the top of the pediment ; a square pedestal with low 
relief, in a style like the Egyptian ; and many fragments of statues, 


capitals, friezes, half burned in a limekiln. There was also the 
base of a statue dedicated to Antoninus by the corporation of 
Bakers, which became the property of the Mattel." There were 
tv/enty-one steps, as ascertained in the course of the excavations 
made in i 8 1 1 by the French prefect of the Departement du Tibre. 
The same excavations brought to light the threshold of the door 


leading to the crypt below the stairs. Mr. Lacour Gayet 
discovered in 1885, and published in the Mela7iges de PEcole 
fraiK^aise de Rome of that year, p. 226, a set of graffiti scratched 
on the lower portion of the columns of the pronaos, after their 
surface had been softened by the fire of Commodus. They 
represent Hercules and the lion of Nemea, a Lar, the Victory, 
etc. The inscriptions date from the Christian era, as if some 


one was hastening the " purification '"' of the building. There are 
salutations like EVTICIANE VIVAS and the monogram 

GO :^ A 

which must have been sketched by some one of Eastern extraction, 
as the Latins always made the Alpha precede the Omega. 

The ground in front of the temple was cleared in January 
1876. Among the objects recovered on this occasion were a 
fragment of the fasti consulares from the year of Rome 755 to 
760 ; a pedestal of a statue which, having been overthrown by 
an earthquake (fatali necessitate collapsa), was replaced on its 
pedestal by Gabinius Vettius Probianus, a prefect of Rome at the 
beginning of the fifth century, well known for the care he took for 
the preservation of works of art injured in one way or another 
during those eventful years ; and the pedestal of an equestrian 
statue raised by the policemen to Geta. The ground in front of 
the temple is called in the inscription of Probianus celeberrimvs 


Literature. — VikiPii, 6. Eckhel — Doctrina ?iumism. vet., vii. 39. Ligorio, 
Pirro — Cod. vat., 3374, f. 168; and Cod. Tor in., xv. f. 100. Fra Gio- 
condo da Verona — lyizi, n. 202. Tournon — Etudes statist, sur Rome, 
vol. ii. p. 264. Valadier et Visconti — Raccolta delle piii insigni fabhriche di 
Roma, lav. ii. iii. Nibby, Antonio — Foro romano, p. 181. Pellegrini, 
Angelo — Scavi di Roma, in Buonarroti, February 1876. Armellini — Chiese 
di Rotna, p. 157. 

We must now cross to the opposite side of the Sacra via, and 
examine, before entering the Forum, the group of Vesta, which 
comprises the Regia, the temple, the shrine, and the house of the 

XVII. The Regia (Plan No. XVII I.)— The now vacant space 
of ground between the temples of Vesta and Faustina was occupied 
by the Regia, the official residence of the Pontifex maximus and 
the centre of his administration, the foundation of which was at- 
tributed to Numa. It contained a chapel where the lances of 
Mars were kept ; another sacred to Ops consiva, which could be 
entered only by the Vestals and by the "sacerdos pubHcus" ; spacious 
archives for the safe -keeping of the annals, commentaries, and 
books of the Supreme Priesthood; and a meeting-hall where religious 
conventions were held (like that of the Fratres Arvales of May 1 4th, 
14 B.C., for the cooptatio of Drusus Caesar, son of Tiberius). The 
Regia was burnt to Ihe ground not less than four times : first 
in 210 B.C. ; then in 148, when only the chapel of Mars and the 



laurel-trees shading the entrance were saved from the flames ; and 
again in 36, when it was rebuilt by Domitius Calvinus in solid 
marble, and ornamented with statues obtained from Julius Caesar, 
much against his will. Pliny (^Nat. Hist., xxxvi. 18, 8) says that 
two of the four statues which once had supported the tent of 
Alexander the Great were placed before the Regia, the other two 
being before the temple of Mars ultor. 

In 1883 I expressed the opinion {Notizie Scavi, p. 479) that 

0£l ?0».-t<« » Vtdo 

BEL AKTICO essemtio 



the graceful little edifice (once more attacked by the flames in the 
conflagration of Nero) never rose from its ashes ; but after read- 
ing the account of its discovery and outrageous treatment by 
the deputies of the fabbrica di S. Pietro in 1543-46, I wish 
to correct this statement. The following design, which I have 
photographed from an original sketch by Ligorio, who was present 
at the discovery, speaks better than any other argument. The 
design is more a restoration of that fanciful architect than 
a picture of the real state of the building when first discovered 
(August I 5 th, 1543?); but many of the particulars are genuine, as 


marble blocks of the cella, the entablature, and the peristyle, but 
even the tufa blocks which strengthened and surrounded the 
concrete of the foundations like a ring. Thirty-five pieces only 
escaped by a miracle, and we found them scattered over a large 
area in the excavations of 1877. With their help, and by com- 
parison with the designs of medals and bas-reliefs, architects and 
archaeologists have attempted the reconstruction of the temple. The 
one I suggest is represented in pp. 159 and 160 oi Ancient Rome. 
Compare it with Jordan's De7' Te?npel, pi. 4 ; and Auer's Der 
Teinpel, plates 6-8. This last is reproduced on the preceding page, 
Fig. 91. 

Literature. — Helbig, Wolfgang — Bull. Inst., 1878, p. 9. Lanciani, 
Rodolfo— A' atrio di Vesta, in Notizie Scavi, Dec. 1883 ; and Ancient Rome, 
chaps, vi. and vii. Jordan, Heinrich — Der Tempel der Vesta, etc. Berlin, 
Weidmann, 1886. Auer, Hans — Der Tempel der Vesta, etc. Wien, Tempsky, 
1888. Huelsen, Christian — Mittheil., vol. iv. 1889, p. 245. Middleton, J. 
Henry — The Retnains of Ancient Rome, vol. i. p. 298. Thedenat, H., in 
Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire, p. 1285, n. 7. 

XIX. Shrine (Plan No. XX.) — The ancient practice of placing 
shrines of domestic gods at the corner of the main streets of each 
ward of the city was raised to the dignity of a public institution 
by Augustus. 1 Four hundred and twenty-four of these popular 
chapels were numbered in Rome under Constantine. The 
Christians accepted the institution, and developed it to such an 
extent that not less than three thousand two hundred and forty- 
six were registered in Rome in 1853. Although many inscrip- 
tions belonging to the " aediculae larum " have been found from 
time to time, only two may be said to exist now : the shrine of the 
vicus Sobrius near S. Martino ai Monti, and that of the vicus 
Vestae. The latter stands behind the temple on the right of the 
entrance door to the cloisters. The entablature was supported by 
two columns of the composite order. The frieze contains the follow- 
ing inscription, in letters of the golden age : — SENATVS POPVLVSQVE 
neath there was very likely a statue of Mercury, a socle inscribed 
DEO • MERC V RIO having been found not far away. An inscription 
discovered in June 1878 at S. Paolo fuori le mura tells us the 
name and the history of this monument. It says that in A.D. 223, 
Severus Alexander being Emperor, the street magistrates of the 
eighth region (Forum) had rebuilt aedicvlam • REG • viii • vico 

- See Pagan and Christian Rome, p. 62; and Suetonius — Octav. , 13, 
" compitales Lares ornare bis in anno instituit vernis floribus et aestivis. " 


VESTAE, Vesta's temple Is separated from that of Castor and Pollux 
by a lane, which is evidently the vicus Vestae mentioned above. 

This beautiful shrine could be reconstructed in its entirety, 
but the attempt has not yet been made. 

XX. Atrium Vestae (house of the Vestals), Plan No. XXI. 
and Fig. 92. — The house of the Vestals is an oblong brick building, 
of the time of Septimius Severus and Julia Domna, surrounded by 
streets on every side : by the Sacra via on the north, by the vicus 
Vestae on the west, by the Nova via on the south, and by an un- 
known lane on the east. The most prominent feature of the build- 
ing is the atrium ; in fact, its size and magnificence were so great 
that the whole building was named from it. Atrium Vestae. The 
building itself is 115 metres long, 53 wide; the atrium 67 metres 
long, 24 wide. The surface of the house amounts to 6095 square 
metres, of which not less than one fourth (1608 square metres) is 
occupied by the atrium. Its architecture can be compared to that 
of our mediaeval and Renaissance double-storeyed cloisters, which, 
l^eing the abode of people seldom or never allowed to go out, 
must necessarily be very airy and spacious to give the inmates 
the chance of taking bodily exercise. The portico on the ground- 
floor has, or rather had, forty-eight columns of cipoUino marble, 
of the Corinthian order. Of this stately colonnade not a piece 
is left standing. The site and the number of the shafts are 
only marked by the foundation-stones (cuscini) of travertine. 
Not a trace has been found of the capitals and of the entablature, 
which was 1 46 metres long ; and I do not know many instances 
of such a wholesale destruction of an ancient building. The 
second or upper storey had an equal number of columns, smaller 
in size and of the precious breccia corallina. Two whole columns 
and many fragments have been recovered. They have escaped 
destruction because the breccia corallina cannot be burnt into lime. 

The atrium is surrounded by State apartments on the ground- 
floor. On the upper it was surrounded by the private apartments 
of the Vestals. Of course we cannot give their right names to 
the single pieces, or state one by one their former use and 
place. At the east end of the cloisters there is a large hall, 
1 2 metres long and 8 metres wide, which corresponds to the 
tabli7tMn of a Roman house. Its pavement is laid out in coloured 
marbles, such as giallo, porfido, serpentino, etc., and the pattern 
belongs to the style brought into fashion under Septimius Severus. 
The walls were encrusted also with rare marbles framed by a 


cornice of rosso antico. On each side of this hall there are 
three smaller rooms, making a total of six, a figure corresponding 
to the number of the Vestals. Their destination is doubtful ; 
certainly they were not used as bedrooms, in the first place 
because the bedrooms have been traced in the upper storey, and 
secondly because the dampness of these low cells is such that 
they were absolutely unfit for human habitation. 

The position of the house, as regards health and health-giving 
sunshine, is most unfavourable. Being built against the cliff of 
the Palatine, at the bottom of an artificial cutting, its ground-floor 
lies 30 feet below the level of the Nova via ; this street is 
actually supported by the back walls of the State apartments on the 
west side of the atrium. No wonder that these walls should be 
saturated with damp, which must have told severely on the health 
of the sisters. They did their best to fight the evil. Double walls 
were set up against the buttress of the Nova via, with a free space 
between them to allow of the circulation of air. Ventilators and hot- 
air furnaces are to be seen in every corner. Another precaution 
taken by the Vestals against rheumatism was the raising of the 
pavements of every room subject to damp, and the establishment of 
hot-vapour currents in the free space between the double floors. This 
was done rather awkwardly. Instead of the terra-cotta cylinders 
or brick pillars which were commonly used by the Romans to 
support the upper floor of these hypocausta, the Vestals of latter 
days made use of large amphorae sawn across and cut into two por- 
tions of equal length. These half jars are placed in parallel rows 
and very near each other, and made to support the large tegulae 
bipedales over which the pavement is laid. Hot air was forced to 
circulate in the interstices between the jars by means of terra-cotta 
pipes from a furnace. In spite of all these precautions, the house 
must have remained unhealthy, especially from want of sunshine. 
Even now it is cast into the shade of the surrounding ruins of 
the Imperial palace at an early hour of the day ; imagine what 
must have happened when that palace was towering in all its 
glory fully i 50 feet above the level of the atrium. These un- 
favourable hygienic conditions allow us to explain, with a certain 
degree of probability, a remarkable change in the rules of the order 
made towards the beginning of the fourth century. Physicians 
were not allowed in former times to enter the atrium. As soon as 
the first symptoms of a case of sickness made their appearance the 
patient was at once removed from the nunnery and put under the 
care of her parents, or else under the charge of a distinguished 


matron. In the fourth century we hear for the first time of an 
archiater or physician attached to the estabhshment. 

When the excavations began in October 1883 we were in hope 
of discovering some kind of fasti which would tell us the names of 
the Vestal virgins, the dates of their co-optation and death, and, 
above all, the list of the abbesses of the monastery. The expecta- 
tion was disappointed ; and when we consider that amongst the 
forty thousand inscriptions discovered in Rome since the early 
Renaissance there is not a line, not a fragment, which can be 
attributed to the above-named fasti, we may confidently assert that 
they never existed. It is difficult to explain this fact. The 
parallel religious corporations of the Fratres Arvales, of the Salii 
Palatini, of the Augurs, took care that the fasti of their order, year 
after year, should be engraved in marble ; and these marbles, more 
or less injured by time, have come down to us, and they are con- 
sidered the most valuable documents of Roman epigraphy and 
chronology. Perhaps it was not customary that female corpora- 
tions should have special annals ; perhaps these annals were only 
permitted to true collegia, and the Vestals, like the Curiones, were 
not regarded as such. At any rate the want of the fasti is 
compensated for, as regards the atrium, by the magnificent set of 
pedestals, with statues and eulogistic inscriptions, raised in honour 
of the Vestales inaximae. The fashion of these dedications seems 
to have come in with the Empire, and was kept until the fall of the 
pagan superstition. The Atrium Vestae must have contained more 
than one hundred " honorary " pedestals, not because there were 
as many abbesses during the last four centuries of Vesta's worship, 
but because many statues represented and many pedestals bore the 
name of the same lady. The stonecutters and the' lime-burners of 
the Middle Ages have destroyed more than four-fifths of this series. 
We possess actually the originals or the copies of thirty-six in- 
scriptions bearing names of Vestales maximae ; of these twenty- 
eight were found in the atrium itself, two on the Palatine, six in 
various other quarters of the town. Comparing the information* 
given by these marbles with the accounts of classical writers, we 
can put together an important section of the fasti maximatus (the 
word maxiinatns has appeared for the first time in one of the 
new inscriptions). 

1. Occia. Tacitus — Ami.^ ii. 86. She presided over the 
sisterhood from the year 38 before Christ to A.D. 19. 

2. Junia Torquata, daughter of Silanus, the noblest of the noble 
Roman ladies ; maxima between A.D. 19 and 48. 


3. Vibidia, the generous protector of Messalina when the long 
story of her infamies was disclosed to Claudius. Tacit. — Ami.,x\. 32. 

4. Cornelia Maxima, murdered by Domitian. Pliny — Ep.,\\.i\. 

5. Praetextata. Her name appeared for the first time on a 
pedestal discovered December 29th, 1883 : " Praetextatae Crassi 
Filiae Virgini Vestali Maximae, C. Julius Creticus a Sacris.'^ Her 
mother, " Sulpicia Crassi uxor," is mentioned by Tacitus {Hisf., 
iv. 42). 

6. Numisia Maximilla, A.D. 200. Two pedestals mention her 
name — one found three centuries ago, one discovered on December 
29th, 1883: " Numisiae Maximillae V.V. Maximae, C. Helvidius 
Mysticus devotus beneficiis eius." 

7. Terentia Flavola, A.D. 215, whose name is engraved on four 
pedestals, was the great-granddaughter of Lollianus Avitus, consul 
A.D. 114; the granddaughter of L. Hedius Rufus LoUianus 
Avitus, consul A.D. 144 ; the daughter of Q. Hedius Rufus 
Lollianus Gentianus, Salius Palatinus and consul of uncertain 
date. She had, moreover, two brothers, Lollianus Plautius Avitus, 
husband of Claudia Sestia Cocceia Severiana, and Terentius 
Gentianus, husband of Pomponia Paetina. 

8. Campia Severina, A.D. 240. 

9. Flavia MamiHa, A.D. 242. 

10. Flavia Publicia, A.D. 247. This lady was undoubtedly 
the most famous and venerable chief of the order. Her eulogies 
and her pedestals have been discovered in vast numbers. 
Judging from the appearance of the exquisite statue discovered, 
together with one of her pedestals, on December 20th, Flavia Pub- 
licia was a lady of tall, queenly appearance, of noble demeanour, of 
a sweet and gentle, if not handsome face. Seven pedestals have 
been found — one in 1497, one in 1549, five in our own excava- 
tions. Of these recent ones the first was dedicated on July iith, 
A.D. 247, by her niece Aemilia Rogatilla, and by Minucius Honor- 
atus, son of Aemilia ; the second by two captains of the army, 
Ulpius Verus and Aurelius Titus ; the third was dedicated on 
September 30th, a.d. 257, by a certain Bareius Zoticus, with his 
wife Flavia Verecunda ; the fourth by a M. Aurelius Hermes ; 
the last by T. Flavins Apronius, a sub-intendant of the monastery. 

I I. Coelia Claudiana, a.d. 286. This abbess was already 
known from five inscriptions discovered at various times. The 
two others lately found tell nothing remarkable, except that she 
is said to have ruled over twenty years. 

12. Terentia Rufilla, A.D. 300. 


13. On November 5th a pedestal was discovered bearing 
the following inscription : — " Ob meritum castitatis, pudicitiae, 
atque in sacris religionibusque doctrinae mirabilis . . . [name 
erased] virgini Vestali maximae, Pontifices viri clarissimi, pro 
magistro Macrinio Sossiano viro clarissimo, pro mentis." Then 
follows the date of June 9th, a.d. 364: " dedicata quinto idus 
lunias, divo loviano et Varroniano consulibus." Now why should 
the name of this highly praised priestess have been erased ? Two 
reasons only can be given : either she happened to forget the 
vows of chastity, or she was converted to Christianity. The first 
explanation does not seem satisfactory, not only because she was 
most probably a mature, if not an old woman, when the crime and 
the memoriae damnatio took place, but also because the fall of a 
Vestal would certainly have been noticed and registered and pro- 
claimed to the four winds by contemporary Christian writers. 
Conversion to the Gospel seems more probable ; one of these 
conquests of the new faith in Vesta's atrium seems to be men^ 
tioned by Prudentius {Perisfep/i., hymn 2). 

1 4. Coelia Concordia, the last Vestalis maxima, or the last but 
one. She was an intimate friend of the great champion of polythe- 
ism, Vettius Agorius Praetextatus. Some of her exploits have been 
revealed by the discovery of a pedestal in the house of Praetextatus 
himself, which house stood where is now the convento dei Liguo- 
rini, formerly the villa Caserta, at the corner of the via Merulana 
and the via dell' arco di S. Vito. Coelia Concordia had raised a 
statue in honour of Praetextatus in the atrium itself ; she received 
the same distinction in the house of that nobleman. The statue of 
Praetextatus was discovered in the atrium on the last day of 1883. 

In the four months during which the excavations lasted, 36,000 
cubic metres of earth were carted away and the following objects 
discovered : — Marble pedestals with inscriptions, 13 ; inscriptions 
on marble slabs, 12 ; brick-stamps, 102 ; silver coins, 835 ; gold 
coin, I ; pieces of jewellery, 2 ; busts and heads, 15 ; statues, i i ; 
important pieces of statues, 7 ; columns or pieces of columns of 
breccia corallina, cipollino, and bigio, 11. 

The most remarkable find was that of a ripostiglio, or hidden 
treasure of Anglo-Saxon coins, made on November 8th, 1883, 
under the remains of a mediaeval house built within the north-east 
corner of the atrium. About a metre and a half above the 
ancient pavement our men found a rough terra -cotta jug con- 
taining 832 silver coins, one of gold, and a piece of jewellery 
inscribed " Domno Marino Papa." 


The gold coin, a solidus, shows on one side the head and the 
name of the Byzantine Emperor Theophilus (a. 827-842), on the 
other side the busts of Michael and Constantine VIII. The piece 
proves only that the treasure was not buried before the first half 
of the ninth century, and proves nothing else, as Byzantine solidi 
have been used both in the East and the West for centuries ; in 
fact, a few of them were still current not many years ago in some 
Turkish provinces. In the Middle Ages they were the standard 
international currency ; the Merovingian kings even struck a 
certain number of these coins with the effigies and names of 
Justinus, of Justinian, and so forth. Of the 832 silver denarii, 
828 are Anglo-Saxon, one from Ratisbon, one from Limoges, two 
from Pavia. The Anglo-Saxon group is subdivided as follows : — 
Coins with the legend aelfred rex, 3 ; with eadweard rex, 
217; with aethelstan rex, 393; with eadmvnd rex, 195; 
with ONLAF (Anlaf, Anlef) REX or CVNVNC, 6 ; with SITRICE 
CVNVNC, I ; with the name of archbishop PLEGMVND, 4 ; un- 
certain, 10; total, 829. Of yEthelstan's coins, 2 were struck at 
Bath, I at Canterbury, i at Chichester, i at Dartmouth, 4 at 
Derby, 20 at Dorchester, 6 at Exeter, 16 at York, 2 at Hertford, 
I at Lewes, 2 at Longport, 25 at Leicester, 66 in London, i at 
Maldon, 14 at Norwich, 9 at Oxford, 7 at Shrewsbury, i at 
Shaftesbury, 3 at Stafford, 14 at Winchester, 13 at Wallingford, 
3 at TOLIE (?). The names of the ni07ietarii are nearly as 
numerous as the coins themselves. The piece of jewellery is a 
kind of fibula or brooch, with silver designs and letters inlaid on 
copper. It is a unique piece, not only as a work of art of a 
Roman goldsmith of the tenth century, but because fibulae in- 
scribed with the name of the living pope are not to be found. It 
was certainly used to fasten the mantle on the shoulder of some 
high official belonging to the court of Marinus II., a pontiff other- 
wise obscure, who occupied the chair of S. Peter from 942 to 
946 ; Albericus being then the Princeps roinanoriim and Edmund 
the king of England. This official must have been in charge of 
the pope's episcopium, which nestled among the ruins of the palace 
of Caligula (see p. 156), and must have been paid with "Peter's 
pence" from England. His small house, destroyed in 1884, 
rested on the three pedestals of Coelia Claudiana, of the con- 
demned Vestal, No. 1 3, and of Flavia Publicia, which one finds 
on the right-hand side of the entrance (Plan letter A). 

The foundations of an octagonal shrine, purposely and deliber- 
ately levelled to the ground, appear in the centre of the cloisters. 


This shrine contained probably the " sacra fataHa," the sacred 
tokens of the Roman commonwealth, like the Palladium, entrusted 
to the care of the Vestals. We believe that the destruction of this 
innermost sanctuary was accomplished by the Vestals themselves 
in the last days preceding the suppression of the order and their 
banishment from the cloisters, A.D. 394. 

In a room near the south-east corner, marked B in the plan, 
is the mill used by the Vestals to grind meal with which the 
"mola salsa," a most primitive kind of cake, was prepared 
on February 15 th of each year, during the celebration of the 

The house of the Vestals has lost much of its fascinating 
interest since the best works of art, busts, statues, portraits, and 
inscriptions pertaining to it have been removed to the baths of 

Literature. — Lanciani, R. — L! atrlo di Vesta, con appeiidice del comiii. de 
Rossi. Rome, Salviucci, 1884. Maes, Costantino — Vesta e Vestali. Roma, 
1883. Jordan, H. — Der Tempel der Vesta nnd das Haus der Vestalinnen. 
Berlin, 1884. Auer, Hans — Der Tempel der Vesta und das Haus der Ves- 
talinnen. Wien, 1888. Middleton, J. Henry — The Re7nai7is of Ancient Rome, 
vol. i. p. 229. Marquardt, Joachim — Staatsverwaltung, vol. iii. p. 323. Bull. 
Inst., 1884, p. 145. Mittheil., 1889, p. 245; 1891, p. 91; 1892, p. 287. 
Atti Accad. archeol., 1890, p. 407. 


XXI. Forum Romanum Magnum (Plan No. XXII. and Fig. 
93). — We have now come to the most interesting part of our 
walk, to the chief attraction of this attractive district, to the 
Forum Romanum Magnum, where for so many centuries the 
destinies of the ancient world were swayed. 

At the time of the foundation of Rome the bartering trade 
between the various tribes settled on the heights of the left bank 
of the Tiber was concentrated in the hollow ground between the 
Palatine, the Capitoline, and the Quirinal. Around this elementary 
market-place, bordering on the marshes of the lesser Velabrum, 
were a few conical straw huts, such as the one in which the public 
fire was kept, afterwards the temple of Vesta. There were also 
clay pits on the north side, from which the neighbourhood took the 
name of Argiletum, and stone quarries under the Capitoline called 
Lautumiae. The market-place was well supplied with drinking 


water from local springs, like the Tullianum (which tradition has 
transformed into a miraculous feature of S. Peter's prison i) and 
the spring of Juturna, described p. 125. 

According to the Roman legend, Romulus and Tatius, after the 
mediation of the Sabine women, met on the very spot where the 
battle had been fought and made peace and an alliance. The spot, 
a low, damp, grassy field, exposed to the floods of the river Spinon 
(p. 29), took the name of Comitium from the verb " coire," to 
assemble. It is possible that, in consequence of the alliance, a 
road connecting the Sabine and Roman settlements was made 
across these swamps ; it became afterwards the Sacra via. 
Tullus Hostilius, the third king, built a stone enclosure on the 
Comitium for the meeting of the Senators, named from him Curia 
Hostilia ; then came the State prison built by Ancus Marcius 
in one of the quarries (the Tullianum). The Tarquins drained 
the land, transformed the unruly river Spinon into the Cloaca 
maxima, gave the Forum a regular (trapezoidal) shape, divided 
the space around its borders into building lots, and sold them 
to private speculators for shops and houses, the fronts of which 
were to be lined with porticoes. 

These shops, so closely connected with the early life of Rome, 
were at the beginning of the commonest kind : butchers' stalls 
(afterwards replaced by the basilica Sempronia) and butchers' 
shops, from one of which Virginius took the knife to stab his 
daughter. Other tabernae were occupied by schools for children, 
where Appius Claudius first saw Virginia reading. As the dignity 
of the place increased, ordinary tradesmen disappeared and their 
shops were occupied by gold- and silver- smiths, money-changers, 
and usurers. Hence the name tabernae argentariae applied, as a 
general rule, to all the shops ; as a distinctive name, to those on 
the north side. On the occasion of the triumph of L. Papirius, 
dictator 308 B.C., the gilt shields of the Samnites were distributed 
among the owners of the argentariae to decorate their shop fronts. 
There were two rows of them, on either of the longer sides of the 
Forum : one called the tabernae veteres (septem tabernae) on the 
shady or south side ; one called the tabernae novae or argentariae 
on the sunny or north side. The same were designated concisely 
by the formula " sub veteribus, sub novls." 

It does not come within the scope of the present chapter to 

^ See Der mamertinische Kerker u. die romischen Tradiiioneti vom 
Gefdngnisse und den ketten Petri, von H. Grisar, S.J. , in Zeitschrift fur 
kath. Theologie, xx. Jahrgang, 1896, p. 102. 


follow stage by stage the development of the market-place into a 
magnificent forum surrounded by stately edifices. The chronology 
of its monumental transformation up to the time of Augustus may 
be found in the following table. Compare the Geschichtc des forum 
Comitium tmd der Sacra via in Jordan's Topographic, i^, p. 315. 

September 17. — -Temple of Saturn dedicated by the 

consuls A. Sempronius and M. Minicius. 
Apparition of the Dioscuri by the spring of Juturna. 
January 27. — Dedication of the temple of Dioscuri. 
Temple of Vesta burnt by the Gauls and rebuilt. 
Erection of temple of Concord voted by the Senate, 
The legendary chasm at the north-west corner of the 

Rostra decorated with beaks from the fleet of the 

Chapel of Cn. Flavius on the Graecostasis. 
Tabula Valeria painted on the east side of the Curia. 
First sun-dial erected by M. Valerius Messala. 
Columna rostrata of C. Duilius. 
Temple of Vesta burnt and rebuilt. 
Regia destroyed by fire and rebuilt. 
The first Basilica or court-house, built by M. Porcius 

Cato the elder (basilica Porcia). 
Basilica Fulvia, by M. Fulvius Nobilior. 
Basilica Sempronia, by T. Sempronius Gracchus. 
Second sun-dial, by L. Marcius Philippus. 
First clepsydra, by P. Scipio Nasica. 
Regia destroyed by fire and rebuilt. 
Reconstruction of temple of Concord by L. Opimius 

voted by the Senate. 
Basilica Opimia, by L. Opimius. 
Fornix Fabianus, by Q. Fabius Allobrogicus. 
Temple of Castor rebuilt by L. Caecilius Metellus 

Basilica Fulvia (Aemiha) restored by M. Aemilius 

Tribunal Aurelium, by L. Aurelius Cotta. 

It is evident that a forum dating from the time of the 
Kings must have soon become inadequate for its purpose, and 
for the requirements of an ever- increasing population ; its area, 
besides, was so crowded with statues, tribunes, altars, putealia, 
and obstacles of every description that we wonder how public 
meetings could be held within its precincts. In 1 59 B.C. P. 
Scipio and M. Popilius, censors, ordered the removal from the 
Forum of all statues of magistrates unless they had been erected 
by decree of the S.P.Q.R. ; and yet we hear, at the Rostra 

' of Rome. 

















































alone, of the statues of the four Roman ambassadors murdered by 
the Fidenates in 438 B.C. ; of the two Junii Coruncanii, murdered 
by Tenta, queen of the Illyrians, in 229 ; of Cn. Octavius, 
assassinated at Laodicea in 162 while on a mission to the Syrian 
court ; of Servius Sulpicius the jurist, who died in the camp at 
Mutina in 43 ; of Camillus the dictator, who, as an example of 
the ancient simplicity of dress, was clothed in a toga without tunic ; 
of C. Maenius (equestrian), who conquered the Latins in 338 ; 
of Sulla ; of Pompeius ; of Lepidus ; of Julius Caesar ; of young 
Octavianus ; and lastly, of the three Sibyls, which Pliny classifies 
among the earliest works of the kind in Rome.i 

• Besides these obstacles, the Forum and its vicinity were crowded 
by certain classes of people, not very distinguished, who so con- 
stantly haunted certain points and corners of the place that they 
were nicknamed from them. Thus we hear of the Subrostrani, 
lawyers without employment keeping themselves by the Rostra in 
search of prey ; of the Canalicolae, described by Paul Uiac. as 
"homines pauperes qui circa canales fori consistebant " ; and in a 
general way of the forenses, so graphically described by Plautus 
{CiirciiHo^ iv. i). 

One of the first steps to reform this state of things was 
taken in the seventh century of Rome by the construction of a 
fish-market (f piscatorium), in consequence of which the fish- 
mongers, who poisoned the clients of the court-houses with the 
offensive smell of their merchandise, were driven away from the 
porticoes of the basilicae. These basilicae — the Porcia, oldest of all, 
built by the elder Cato in 1 84 near the Curia ; the Sempronia, 
erected in 169 on the line of the tabernae veteres ; the Opimia, in 
121, by the temple of Concord; and the Fulvia Aemilia, 79-78, 
by the via Argiletana — as they were surrounded by porticoes 
accessible both by day and night, increased the public accommoda- 
tion to some extent. 

The grand era of transformation begins with the year 700/54, 
when L. Aemilius Paullus bought private property on the north 
side and built his superb basilica Aemilia. The reason for such a 
costly undertaking (about 12,000,000 francs) is given by Cicero : 
lit forum laxarejniis^ to enlarge the Forum. The work of Aemilius 
Paullus was continued by Julius Caesar, who purchased other 
private property and built an extension — the forum Julium — at a 
cost of 20,000,000 francs. This happened between the years 

^ See Nichols — The Roman Forum, pp. 79, 86-89, 203, 217; and 
Th^denat, in Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire, p. 1281. 


700/54 and 708/46. Augustus followed the example of Caesar, 
and, in continuation of the two fora, built a third one named 
f. Augustum or f. Martis, from the temple of Mars the Avenger, 
which stood at one end of it. Augustus himself explains in his 
Res gestae the necessity for this work, with the inadequacy of the 
two existing fora for the transaction of business and the adminis- 
tration of justice. It took him forty years to finish the structure 
(712/42 to August I St, 752/2). During this lapse of time the old 
forum Romanum had been in its turn vastly improved, as shown 
by the following summary : — 

Year of Rome. B.C. 

702 52 The Curia, the basilica Porcia, and several houses 

burnt down by the Clodians. The temple of 

Felicitas built on the site of the Curia in 705/49. 

Substituted once more by the Curia Julia in 710/44. 

Dedicated by Augustus in 725/18. 
708 46 First basilica Julia dedicated by Julius Caesar sub 

Veteribus ; rebuilt and enlarged by Augustus in 

,, ,, Lacus Servilius embellished by Agrippa. 

710 44 The rostra Julia built at the other (east) end of the 

712 42 Temple of Saturn rebuilt by L. Munatius Plancus. 

718 36 The Regia rebuilt by Domitius Calvinus. Fasti 

consulares engraved the same year, fasti triumphales 

between 736/18 and 742/12. 
725 29 August 18. — Temple of Caesar dedicated by Augustus, 

and triumphal arch of Augustus dedicated near the 

temple by the S.P.Q.R. 
745 9 Altar of Volcan dedicated by Augustus on the Volkanal. 

747 7 Temple of Castor and Pollux restored by Tiberius. 

We can add to the Hst the restoration of the temple of 
Concordia by Tiberius in 763/10 A.D. ; that of the State prison 
by C. Vibius and M. Cocceius about the same date ; the erection of 
an altar to Ops by the temple of Saturn, August loth, 760/7 A.D. ; 
and that of a triumphal arch of Tiberius in 769/16. 

From the age of Tiberius to that of Constantine the history 
of the Forum is represented by four great fires followed by three 
great restorations, in the course of which the space for the 
accommodation of the crowds is vastly increased, new buildings 
added, new art collections formed, etc. The first is the fire of 
Nero, A.D. 65, which lasted six days and seven nights, destroyed 
three regions of the city, and damaged seven more. The Regia, 
the temple of Vesta and of Jupiter Stator, the Curia, the Graeco- 


stasis, the temple of Janus, the region of the Argiletum as far as 
the Carinae, were devastated by the flames. The second is the 
fire of Titus, A.D. 80. 

Vespasian and Domitian repaired the damages of both, and in 
doing this they added two fora to the three already existing, the 
f. Pacis and the f. Transitorium, 

Vespasian began by clearing and repairing the streets "deformes 
veteribus incendiis atque ruinis," ^ and the temples, for which he 
was rewarded with the title of RESTITUTOR AEDIUM SACRARUM.2 
Then he took up a large section of the burnt land between the 
Sacra via and the Carinae, and erected on it a splendid temple to 
Peace, surrounded by a large open space, which must have served, 
like the fora of Julius and Augustus, to relieve the f. Romanum. 
He also rebuilt the temples of Jupiter Capitolinus and of Claudius 
on the Caelian hill, and began the construction of the amphi- 

In a short reign of two years Titus (a.d. 79-81) could do 
little more than complete the buildings which his father had left 
unfinished, like the amphitheatre, which he dedicated in the year 
80. At the same time another frightful conflagration, which 
raged three days and nights, stopped all work. The " Fire 
of Titus " was particularly destructive in the region of the circus 
Plaminius, lying under the Capitoline hill, as well as on the hill 
itself. ^ 

Domitian, youngest son of Vespasian, rebuilt a large area on 
the north and west sides of the Forum, under a new piano rego- 
latore, the orientation of which is parallel with the via Argiletana 
(and with the fora of Augustus, of Caesar, and of Peace), not with 
the Sacra via. The copious list of his buildings comprises the 
transformation of the lower via Argiletana into the forum Transi- 
torium ; the reconstruction of the temple of Janus, of the Curia 
JuHa, of the Graecostasis, of the Regia and house of Vestals,^ of 
the Meta Sudans ; the construction of the horrea Piperataria, of 
the temple of Vespasian and Titus on the clivus Capitolinus, of the 
arch of Titus on the summa Sacra via ; the completion of the 
amphitheatre. In memory of these architectural achievements, an 
equestrian statue was raised to him in the middle of the Forum, 
the description of which by Statins (Sz7v., i. i) is a fundamental 
text for the topography of this classic district. 

^ Suetonius — Vespas., 8 ; and Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 931. 

2 Co7-p2is Inscr. , vol. vi. n. 934. 

^ Th^denat, in Daremberg and Saglio's Diction7iai7-e, p. 1290, n. 12-14. 


Shortly before the end of the reign of Commodus, A.D. 191, 
another fire, which lasted several days, swept over the region of 
the Sacra via. It began in a house near the temple of Peace, 
after a slight shock of earthquake. The temple was levelled to 
the ground ; hence the fire spread to the spice warehouses of 
Domitian, and from them over the Sacra via and the atrium and 
temple of Vesta to the palace of the Caesars, a great part of 
which was destroyed, together with the archives of the Empire. 
" It was on this occasion that Galen's shop on the Sacra via was 
burnt down, when, as he tells us himself, he lost some of his 
Avorks of which there were no other copies in Rome. The fire 
was extinguished at last by a heavy fall of rain." ^ 

The damages were repaired by Septimius Severus, by his 
Empress Julia Domna, and by his son Caracalla, with the adop- 
tion of a new piano regolatore, in consequence of which the 
orientation of edifices on the clivus Sacer was shifted by 33°. 
This change appears most evident in the map of the clivus Sacer, 
p. 209, Fig. 82, in which the ruins anterior to the fire of 191 are 
marked in black, those from 191 downwards in a lighter tint. 
It is necessary to remind the reader that the excavations of the 
Forum and of the Palatine have nowhere been carried to the 
proper depth. We have satisfied ourselves with laying bare the 
remains of the late Empire, without taking care to explore the 
earlier and deeper strata. The foundations of the triumphal arch 
of Augustus were discovered in 1888 hardly ten inches below the 
level at which the excavations of 1872 had stopped. The water- 
tank of Mykenean shape discovered on the Palatine while this 
book was in the press (August 1896) had actually been seen in 
1876, but not excavated because it lay lower than the surround- 
ing ruins. We are still discussing the exact location of the 
arch of Fabius, when it could be ascertained de facto by scraping 
away a few inches of ground. 

Severus and Caracalla repaired or rebuilt "a fundamentis " the 
temple of Vesta, the house of the Vestals, the templum Sacrae 
Urbis, that of Vespasian, the porticus Margaritaria, the front of 
the palace on the Nova via. Their names are commemorated for 
ever in the Forum, in the triumphal arch erected in 203 on the 
border-line of the Comitium. 

We have no definite account of the fire of 283 under Carinus. 
Judging from the works of repair which it necessitated, it must 
have raged from the foot of the Capitoline to the top of the 
' Dyer, Thomas — A History of the City of Rome, ed. 1865, p. 263. 


Sacra via, from the vicus Jugarius to the temple of Venus and 

Diocletian repaired the basilica Julia, the Graecostasis (?), and 
the f. Julium, and rebuilt the Senate-house from its foundations. 
Maxentius repaired the temple of Venus and Rome, and built the 
heroon of his son Romulus and the great basilica afterwards 
named from Constantine. The monumental columns which stand 
on the edge of the Forum, opposite the basilica Julia, date also 
from the beginning of the fourth century. 

S^ The first incident in the history of the destruction of the Forum 
is the abolition of pagan w^orship. In 383 Gratianus did away 
with the privileges of temples and priests, and confiscated their 
revenues. In 391 Valentinian and Theodosius prohibited sacrifices, 
even if strictly domestic and private. This brought the pagan 
faction to open rebellion, as related at length in Ancie?tt Rome^ 
p. 173. After the defeat of the rebel leader Eugenius, which took 
place on September 6th, 394, temples were closed for ever ; but 
this measure contributed, for the time being, to the embellishment 
more than to the spoliation of the Forum and its surroundings, 
because the beautiful statues of the gods, removed from their 
altars, were set up again, as mere works of Greek art, in public 
places like law-courts, fora, baths, main thoroughfares, etc. 
Information on this point is supplied by — 

De Rossi, G. B. — Bullettino di arch, crist., 1865, p. 5 ; and Bull, della 
comm. arch, com., 1874, p. 174. Corpus Inscr. Lat., vol. vi. p. 356, n. 1651- 
72. Notizie degli Scavi, 1895, P- 459- 

The Forum was tolerably well preserved at the beginning of 
the sixth century. In 500 king Theoderic addressed the people 
from the Rostra, promising to maintain the privileges granted by 
his predecessors, and the words of his promise were engraved on 
a bronze tablet, hung probably in front of the Senate -house. 
The Anonymus of Valesius,i in mentioning these events, gives to 
this corner of the old Forum the name ad Palmain^ about which 
have written — 

Jordan, H. — Topographic, vol. i^, p. 259, n. 91. Gregorovius, Ferdinand — ■ 
Geschichte, vol. i. p. 276. De Rossi, G. B. — Bull, com., 1887, p. 64 ; 1889, 
P- 363- 

The former name of the corner was in iribiis fatts, or tria fata., 
from the statues of the three Sibyls mentioned by Pliny (xxxiv. 1 1 ) 

^ Quoted by Nibby — Roma antica, vol. ii. p. 58, 


iuxta Rostra^ and considered to rank among the earliest works of 
the kind in Rome. The new denomination ad Pahnam originated 
from a statue of Claudius Gothicus wearing the palm of victory 
{statua palviata)^ which stood near the arch of Severus, It soon 
extended to the whole neighbourhood. The promulgation of the 
Codex Theodosiajius is said to have taken place in 438, in the 
house of Anicius Glabrio Faustus, quae est ad Palmam, viz. near 
the Senate-house. The same house is called domus palmata in 
a letter of king Theoderic.^ The meeting of a committee of 
bishops with a committee of senators, which took place here in 
502, to discuss the schism of Lawrence, is called palmaris for 
the same reason. 

The first solemn transformation of an historical building near 
the Forum into a Christian place of worship took place about 526, 
when pope Felix IV. dedicated to SS. Cosmas and Damianus the 
templum Sacrae Urbis, or Record Office. In 630 the Senate- 
house was dedicated to S. Hadrian by Honorius I.; in 731 
Gregory III. rebuilt the oratory of SS. Sergius and Bacchus by 
the temple of Concord and the chapel of the Mamertine prison ; 
in 760 Paul I. rebuilt the church of S. Maria Antiqua in the 
inner hall of the Augusteum, and raised a new one to S. Peter in 
the vestibule of the temple of Venus and Rome (transformed in 
850 by Leo IV. into that of S. Maria Nova). The temple of 
Antoninus likewise was placed under the patronage of S. Lawrence, 
that of Janus under that of S. Dionysius, the offices of the Senate 
under that of S. Martina, the basilica Julia under that of S. Maria 
de Foro, the Aerarium Saturni under that of the Saviour. The 
heroon of Romulus, son of Maxentius, became the vestibule of 
SS. Cosmas and Damianus ; the so-called baths of Heliogabalus 
on the Sacra via became the church and convent of S. Caesarius 
in Palatio ; the basilica of Constantine was christianised under a 
name unknown to us. (See Pagan and Christian Rome^ p. 162.) 

The buildings mentioned by Procopius, about 537, are, besides 
the Forum itself, the Senate-house, the temple of Janus, etc. He 
states also that many statues by Pheidias and Lysippos could 
still be seen in Rome, after it had been so often sacked. In 
546 the barbarians of Totila looted the city once more; still the 
Forum, free of ruins, continued to be used as the meeting-place of 
the remaining population. In 608 the last "honorary" monu- 
ment, the column of Phocas, was erected in the middle of it, with 
marbles taken from some neighbouring edifice. A few years later 
^ Cassiodorus — Var., iv. 30. 


pope Honorius I. (625-640) stripped the roof of the temple of 
Venus and Rome of its bronze tiles, which could not but hasten 
the destruction of that glorious building. In 663 a Christian 
emperor, Constans II., held the starving and ruined city to 
ransom for twelve days, inflicting upon it more damage than it 
had suffered at the hands of the Goths and Vandals. In 768 
Stephen III. was elected pope in a popular meeting, held in tribus 
fails by the Comitium. 

If the so-called Itinerary of Einsiedlen dates really from the 
time of Charlemagne, it gives us a very detailed account of the 
state of the Forum at the beginning of the ninth century. The 
monuments registered in this document are : the arches of 
Severus, of Titus, and of Constantine ; the umbilicus Romae, 
a " pendant " to the golden milestone ; the equestrian statue 
of Constantine ; the Curia (S. Adriano) ; the Augusteum (S. M. 
Antiqua) ; the templum Sacrae Urbis (SS. Cosmas et Damianus) ; 
the temple of Venus and Rome (palatium Traiani) ; and the Meta 
Sudans. This is the last evidence we possess of the Forum 
retaining its original level. 

An examination of the state of its pavement shows that in 
former times carriages could not cross it, on account of police 
regulations and of the steps (and occasional palisades) by which 
the travertine floor was surrounded. However, all obstacles were 
removed after the fall of the Empire. Vehicles were then allowed 
to cross the Forum diagonally from the Argiletum (by S. Adriano) 
to the vicus Tuscus (by S. Teodoro) and vice versa, coming in 
and out between the first and second pedestals of the " honorary" 
columns on the Sacra via, where the pavement is deeply furrowed 
by the friction of wheels. A kerbstone, made of a broken column 
of African marble, is set up at the corner of the first pedestal at 
the turn of the Sacra via. What happened to the Forum from 
the ninth to the fourteenth century it is difficult to say. We need 
not remind the student how negligently excavations were made 
up to a recent date. Their purpose was to reach and lay bare 
the classic remains of the Empire, and if mediaeval or decadence 
monuments barred the way, they were mercilessly sacrificed. We 
have careful descriptions of the objects discovered in these 
excavations — inscriptions, pedestals, statues, bas-reliefs, columns, 
etc, — but not a word is said about the way they were lying in their 
bed of ruins, at what depth, whether in situ or overthrown, whether 
belonging to the place of discovery or brought from some distance 
to be used as building materials, etc. The archaeologists and 


the excavators of the Napoleonic period, Fea, Nibby, and Amati, 
were far more careful in noting these particulars, the only means 
we have of reconstructing the history of the decline and fall of 
the city. Take the basilica JuHa, for instance : what is left of 
the noble building to tell the tale of its downfall ? The steps 
leading to it are modern for the greater part, and so are the 
pavement, the pilasters of the nave and aisles, the brick arches 
towards the vicus Jugarius, the marble pillars of the Doric order 
on the Sacra via, the opening of the Cloaca maxima, etc. Even 
the fragments arranged on the pilasters are not all found on the 
spot. But we do not complain of restorations so much as of 
destructions. I have just said that part of the basilica was dedi- 
cated to S. Maria de Foro ; the elegant little church was found 
almost intact in 1880 in the northern aisle on the vicus Jugarius, 
with its double row of columns, apse, presbyterium, marble tran- 
sennae, fresco paintings, main and side doors, etc. The only trace 
left standing by accident is one of the columns of the presbyterium. 
The remaining portion of the basilica had been taken possession 
of by the Roman marmorarii of the eleventh century, who prepared 
there the materia prima for their cosmatesque cloisters, ambones, 
and pavements, etc. They had provided themselves with booths 
and workshops by closing with mud walls the spaces between the 
pilasters of the western aisles. There were about twenty such 
shops. The great nave was covered with a layer of chips and 
fragments of historical marbles, destined to feed the limekilns, 
two of which were discovered full of half- charred blocks. The 
east aisles towards the Sacra via were found unencumbered by 
mediaeval partition-walls, and we know the reason why. They 
were used as rope-walks, from which the place derived its name of 
Cannaparia. The upper strata of rubbish was composed mostly 
of human bones ; because, after the last devastations of cardinal di 
Corneto,. the site had been turned into a burial-ground for the 
ospedale della Consolazione. The chain of historical events 
which made the building pass from the hand of the Roman 
magistrates into that of the priests of S. Maria de Foro, and then 
of rope-makers, of marmorarii, of lime-burners, of the guardians 
of the hospital della Consolazione, was thus illustrated by actual 
remains. They have all been sacrificed to the desire of bringing 
into evidence one period only in the history of the building — the 
classic. Another subject of discussion about this place was the 
roof. Was the basilica vaulted over, like that of Constantine, or 
roofed with tiles supported by a wooden framework ? The answer 


was given materially by the huge blocks of the vault with panels 
and lacunaria in stucco which lay scattered on the floor of the 
aisles. They were destroyed for fear that they would obstruct the 

The Forum has had the same experience. The south-east 
side of it, facing the temple of Caesar, was found in 1872 closed 
by a line of shops of the beginning of the fifth century, and of 
the utmost importance for the history of the place. They were 
mistake?! for a mediaeval fortijicatio7i (see Bull. List.., 1872, 
pp. 234, 235) and destroyed. The same mistake was made with 
regard to the walls which supported the platform of the Rostra. 
The pedestal of an equestrian statue in the middle of the Forum — 
wrongly attributed to Domitian — was likewise dismantled for the 
sake of some blocks of giallo antico used in its masonry. If such 
errors were committed in so recent an age, it is easy to under- 
stand what must have happened in centuries gone by, and what 
opportunities of reconstructing the Forum have been lost. 

The accumulation of soil began, as far as we can judge, after 
the visit of Charlemagne (800). When an officer of pope Marinus 
II. built in 946 a small house within the cloisters of the Vestals, 
there were already 5 feet of rubbish above the old pavement. 
After the fire of Robert Guiscard in 1084, the Forum and its sur- 
roundings disappeared altogether from the sight, and almost from 
the memory, of the living. The Frangipanis and other turbulent 
barons occupied the ruins of temples and arches, crowning and 
surrounding them with battlemented towers, many of which were in 
their turn levelled to the ground in 1221, 1257, and 1536. See — 

Gregorovius, Ferdinand — Geschichte, iv. 376 ; v. 316. Jordan, Heinrich 
— Topographie , ii. 480; ^nd Ephemeris epigr., 1876, p. 238. 

The Forum was then turned into a vegetable garden. In the 
inventory of the possessions of the Lateran basilica, written by 
Nicolo Frangipani about 1300, we find mentioned: "Two small 
houses n€3TttYe:tm'age ofPhocas (foce magina), with their orchards ; 
two orchards near the arch by the image of Phocas ; others near 
the church 0(f SS. Cosma e Domianoj ; one near S. Adriano, where 
stand the foor-coitrmTi^'"'; etc "The Res gestae of Innocent III. 
mention, vol. ii. p. 102, an orchard behind the church of SS. 
Sergio e Bacco, and another " among the columns " in the direction 
of the Mamertine prison. The ground was still cultivated jn the 
middle of the sixteenth century, when we hear of the inscription 
of Naevius Surdinus found " in the gardens of the columna 


Maenia," viz. of Phocas ; and of the pedestal {Corpus^ 1458, a) 
found " in the gardens by the three columns," viz. of Castor and 
Pollux. The area of the house of the Vestals was occupied by 
a harundinetum, or bamboo shrubbery. 

It has been said that the earth and rubbish from the founda- 
tions of public and private buildings were regularly thrown into 
the area of the Forum from the time of Eugenius IV. (1431-47), 
but no documents have been produced to prove this. I have 
found one — the first within my knowledge — in the account-books 
of pope Paul II. (1464-71). It appears from them that the 
earth and rubbish excavated from the foundations of the palazzo 
di Venezia were regularly thrown out " ad tres columnas," viz. in 
the neighbourhood of the temple of Castor and Pollux. Consider- 
ing the state of the city in the fifteenth century, the want of police 
regulations, and the freedom of building, destroying, excavating 
which every one enjoyed, it is no wonder that rubbish would be 
thrown out in the nearest convenient place, and no place was 
more convenient than the hollow of the Forum. I have collected 
many data about the periodical increase of its level ; but two 
instances will give the reader an idea of them. It appears that, 
after the obstruction of the Cloaca maxima,^ the only outlet for 
rain and spring water in the district of the Fora was a channel or 
furrow cut by the rushing stream through the bed of rubbish, on 
the line of the via di S. Teodoro, passing right in front of this 
church. Communication between the banks of this ditch was 
assured by means of a bridge, called il ponticello. Albertini 
speaks of a discovery made about \^\o ad ponticuhan^ between 
S. M. Liberatrice and S. Teodoro. Martin Heemskerk made a 
sketch of the bridge in 1534."^ The last mention of it occurs in 
I 549 {Corpus Inscr. Lat., vi. 804) k propos of the discovery of the 
WoYinranxxs prope ponficuhim afite aedificiicin quadratum^ " near the 
ponticello in front of the temple of Augustus." Bridge and ditch 
had disappeared under the ever-increasing deposits of rubbish in 
1593, when cardinal Alessandro Farnese made a present of the 
ground to the S.P.Q.R. for the erection of a fountain and of a 
watering-trough for cattle. We have the evidence of these facts 
to the present day in the church of S. Teodoro, built in the sixth (.?) 
century at the level of the vicus Tuscus, and rebuilt in 1450 

^ The forum of Augustus could not have been turned into a marsh — il 
Pantano — unless the Cloaca maxima, which nins under it and drains it, had 
ceased its functions. 

'^ See Mittheilungen , 1894, p. 10, n. i. 


by pope Nicholas V. ten or twelve feet higher. In the vignette 
of Martin Heemskerk mentioned above, the threshold of the 
church appears still above the street (a. 1534). In 1674 it was 
considerably below it. Finally, to save the building from filtering 
waters and from the pressure of earth, pope Clement XI. was 
compelled to cut a ditch round and to open a court before it, to 
which we now descend by a flight of steps. 

Such has been the fate of all ancient churches in this region. 
Built originally ten or twelve steps higher than the Forum, they 
had, by the end of the fifteenth century, sunk deep in the ground, 
and many were deserted by their attendants. The third vignette 
of Etienne Duperac shows people descending to the church of 
S. Adriano, the ground being almost level with the architrave 
of the door. Strong remedies alone could save the buildings 
from destruction, and that of raising them to the level of the 
new city was decided upon. The thing was done, but in a reckless 
way, so that the present churches have nothing but their name in 
common with their predecessors. Those who know what the 
word " restoration " means with reference to the seicento will 
understand what those venerable buildings must have gone through 
at the hands of their restorers. 

The second instance I propose to quote is this. The greatest 
centre of traffic in ancient times was the Argiletum, a thoroughfare 
which ran along the bottom of the valley between the Quirinal, 
Viminal, and Esquiline, and entered the Forum between the Curia 
and the basilica Aemilia.i It retained its importance throughout 
the centuries until cardinal Michele Bonelli cut through the Curia 
the street which bears his name (via Bonella), and led the traffic 
into a new thoroughfare, better levelled, paved, and drained. A 
search made in 1869 at the point where the Argiletum fell into 
the Comitium showed the existence of four pavements one above 
the other — viz. the stone floor of the Comitium ; another, 9 feet 
higher, dating probably from the time of Robert Guiscard (1084) ; 
a third, 7 feet higher still, with mediaeval walls on each side 
and a kerbstone at the corner made out of a broken column ; the 
fourth and last pavement, at the present level, dates from the time 
of Paul III., who, on preparing the ground for the triumphal entry 
of Charles V. (1536), did not remove the materials of the several 
churches, houses, and towers demolished for the occasion, but 
levelled them on the spot. In the excavations made by Nibby 

^ The lower section of the Argiletum was transformed by Domitian into the 
forum Transitorium, 


between 1827 and 1834 many coins of Paul III. were discovered 
at a considerable depth on the line of the Sacra via. 

I have mentioned above the fountain and water-trough estab- 
lished by the S.P.O.R. about 1593, near the three columns of 
Castor and Pollux, on a piece of ground granted by cardinal 
Alessandro Farnese. The fountain consisted of a large granite 
basin, 23 metres in circumference, placed on a high pedestal of 
travertine. The basin had been discovered opposite the Mamertine 
prison, together with the Marforio, in the fifteenth century. When 
the architect Antinori suggested to Pius VII., in 18 16, the removal 
of the basin to the piazza del Quirinale (where it was actually 
placed at the foot of the obelisk two years later), the basin was 
sunk in the earth, so that carters used to drive their teams 
right across it to refresh them in the heat of the summer. I have 
myself seen a portion of the area of the Forum increase by two 
metres at least in 1868, when baron Visconti, then engaged in 
discovering the site of the porta Romanula, deposited the earth 
on the site of the house of the Vestals, instead of carting it 

As regards the search for antiquities, we can safely say that, 
from the time of Urban V. (1362-70) to the end of last century, 
every year is marked by a plunder of some kind or other, the worst 
deeds of destruction being connected with the golden age of the 
cinquecento. The history of these excavations has not been written 
yet. Materials for it have been collected by — 

Jordan, Heinrich — Sylloge inscript. fori roviani, in Ephem. epigr. , 1876, 
pp. 238-248. Bunsen, Charles — Leforutn romanum, 1835, pp. 4-6. Zahn, A. 
— Bullettino Instituto, 1867, p. 189. Miihtz, Eugene — Les arts a la cour des 
Papes, vols. i. -iii. ; and Revue archdoL, 1876, p. 158. Marucchi, Orazio — 
Descrizione del foro roinano. Roma, Befani, 1883. 

But they cover hardly one-tenth of the ground. Students will find 
a complete chronology of the facts in the Storia degli Scavi di 
Roina^ which I hope soon to publish as a companion text to the 
Forma Urbis. 

The oldest official record dates from the year 1 364, when Urban 
V. granted the materials of the temple of Antoninus and Faustina 
to the rebuilders of the Lateran, provided they would not touch 
the chapel of S. Lorenzo in Miranda, which had been set up in the 
portico. As an account of excavations is appended to the descrip- 
tion of each building, I need not enter into many particulars. In 
general, however, let us distinguish three periods. In the first, 
from Urban \ . to July 22nd, i 540, the popes grant to building con- 


tractors or lime-burners the destruction of such and such a monu- 
ment, one- third of the profits being reserved for the Apostohc 
Chamber. Thus in 1431-62 the great travertine wall separating the 
Senate-house from the forum of Caesar was legally destroyed by 
permission of Eugenius IV. and of his successors; in 1461-62 
the same fate befell the templum Sacrae Urbis or Record Office ; 
in 1450 the temple of Venus and Rome; in 1499 the house of 
the Vestals, etc. If the Government treated the antique remains 
in this fashion they could certainly not expect mercy from private 
hands. In reading the contracts signed between the owners of 
ruins and their excavators one is reminded of the expression of 
Pirro Ligorio, that " ruins were sold like oxen for the meat-market." 
What I may call "excavation fever" had seized every class of citizens, 
from the cardinals and noblemen, who wanted to link their name 
to a museum or to a villa, to the poor widow, who sought to relieve 
her miseries by some unexpected find. Excavations may be called 
the " lotto " of the sixteenth century. 

Sentence of death on the monuments of the Forum and of the 
Sacra via was passed on July 22nd, i 540. By a brief of Paul III. 
Farnese ^ the privilege of excavating or giving permission to 
excavate is taken away from the Capitoline or Apostolic chambers, 
from the " magistrates of streets," from ecclesiastical dignitaries, 
etc., and given exclusively to the " deputies " for the Fabbrica di S. 
Pietro. The pope gives them full liberty to search for ancient 
marbles wherever they please within and outside the walls, to 
remove them from antique buildings, to pull these buildings to 
pieces if necessary ; he orders that no marbles can be sold by 
private owners without the consent of the Fabbrica, under the penalty 
of excommunication latae sententiae, of the wrath of the pope, and 
of a fine of 1000 ducats. No pen can describe the ravages 
committed by the Fabbrica in the course of the last sixty years of 
the sixteenth century. The excesses roused the execration of the 
citizens, but to no purpose; on May 17th, 1580, the conservatori 
made an indignant protest to the town-council, when a portion of 
the palace of the Caesars had fallen in consequence of its having 
been undermined by the searchers for marble. A deputation was 
sent to Gregory XIII. to ask for the revocation of all licences 
("ad perquirendos lapides etiam pro usu fabricae Principis apo- 
stolorum"). We may imagine what answer was given to the protests 

^ Published by Miintz — Revue archM., mai 1884, from the original of the 
Vatican archives. The importance of the document has not yet been fully 
appreciated by archaeologists. 


of the city when we learn that by a brief of Clement VIII., dated 
July 23rd, 1598, the archaeological jurisdiction of the Fabbrica 
was extended over the remains of Ostia and Porto ! The forum 
Romanum was swept by a band of devastators from i 540 to i 549 ; 
they began by removing the marble steps and the marble coating 
of Faustina's temple (1540), then they attacked what was left 
standing of the arch of Fabius (1540). Between 1546 and 1547 
the temple of Julius Caesar, the Regia, with the Fasti consulares et 
triumphales, fell under their hammer. The steps and foundations 
of the temple of Castor and Pollux were next burnt into lime or 
given up to the stonecutters, together with the arch of Augustus. 
The temple of Vesta, the Augusteum, and the shrine of Vortumnus, 
at the corner of the vicus Tuscus, met with the same fate in 

The chronology of subsequent excavations is given by Bunsen, 
Charles — Le forum romamwi expiique selo7t Vetat des fouilles^ 
Rome, avril 21, 1835, p. 4; Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica^ 
vol. ii. p. 178; Jordan, Heinrich — Topographie^ \o\. i-^, p. 154, 
n. I ; and Sylloge inscript. fori Romania in Ephem. epigr., 1876, 
p. 244; Marucchi, Orazio — Descrisio7ie del foro ro/nano^ Roma, 
Befani, 1883, ch. ii. p. 9; but their accounts are only summary 
sketches. A great many unknown documents will be published 
in volumes iii., iv. of Storia degli Scavi di Roma, the publication 
of which has been announced above. 

From the end of the sixteenth century downwards the more 
noticeable events are, first of all, the raising of christianised pagan 
edifices to the level of the modern city, by which they suffered 
great damage. Urban VIII. is responsible for the modernisation 
of the heroon Romuli, of the templum Sacrae Urbis (SS. Cosma 
e Damiano), of the Secretarium Senatus (S. Martina), and of 
the Senate-house (S. Adriano) ; Paul V. and the architect Carlo 
Lombardo for that of S. Maria Nova in 161 5 ; the corporation 
of apothecaries and their architect Torriani for that of S. Lorenzo 
in Miranda (temple of Antoninus and Faustina) in 1602 ; 
cardinal Marcello Lante and his architect Onorio Longhi for that 
of S. Maria Antiqua (S. M. Liberatrice) in 161 7 ; the trustees of 
the ospedale della Consolazione for that of S. Maria in Cannaparia 
(S. M. delle Grazie) in 1609. 

Under Alexander VII. (1655-67) Leonardo Agostini exca- 
vated and destroyed the greater part of the porticus Margaritaria. 
In 1742 a trench 10 metres deep was cut across the Forum to 
put in order the Cloaca maxima, which had become choked. The 


chevalier Fredenheim excavated the basihca Julia between 
November 1788 and March 1789. 

The end of the eighteenth century marks also the end of the 
era of destruction in the valley of the Forum. Pius VI I, , whose 
memory is dear to all lovers of art and antiquities, seconded by 
Carlo Fea, his " commissario per le antichita," determined that 
the historical monuments from the Capitol to the Coliseum should 
be laid bare and their foundations strengthened if necessary. His 
work, interrupted by the French invasion of 1809, was continued 
by comte Tournon, the prefet of the Departement du Tibre. 
Leo XII. began in 1827, and Gregory XVI. completed in 1835, 
another section of excavations from the basilica Julia to the clivus 
Capitolinus. The Republicans of 1848-49 extended the belt of 
discoveries along the north side of the basilica Julia, and Pius IX. 
completed their work between 185 i and 1852. 

The Italian Government undertook the general excavation of 
the ground crossed by the Sacra via from one end to the other a 
few weeks after Rome was made the capital of the united kingdom. 
Thirteen years' untiring labour and a sum of 2,000,000 lire were 
required to accomplish the task. The progress of the works can 
be followed by referring to the dates appended : — 

1870, December; 1871, November. — Basilica Julia. 

1871, — Streets adjoining the temple of Castores, steps of temple, monumental 

columns on the south side of the Forum, Cloaca maxima. 
1872. — -Space between temples of Castores and of divus Julius, rostra Julia, 

shops on the east side of the Forum (destroyed in 1874). 
1873. — Area of the Forum, sculptured plutei, pedestal of Caballus Constantini, 

temple of Vesta. 
1874. — The neighbourhood of temple of Julius, site of Regia. 
1876.— Steps of temple of Antoninus, and neighbourhood. 
1 877- 1 879. — The clivus Sacer from the heroon Romuli to the arch of Titus, 

basilica Nova, arco di Latrone, front of porticus Margaritaria, etc. 
1882. — The Sacra via by the arch of Fabius, arch of Fabius, shops of the 

house of Vestals, shrine of the vicus Vestae. 
1883-1884.^ — House of Vestals, Nova via. 

We shall first study the area of the Forum and the various 
monuments which it contains ; then the edifices on the north side 
(Senate-house, temple of Janus, basilica Aemilia) ; those of the 
east side (temple of Julius Caesar, arch of Augustus, temple of 
Castores) ; those of the south side (basilica Julia between the vicus 
Tuscus and vicus Jugarius) ; and lastly, those of the west side 
(temple of Saturn, Rostra, arch of Severus, Tullianum) and of the 
clivus Capitolinus (temple of Concord and of Vespasian, porticus 
deorum Consentium, Tabularium, Capitoliuni, Arx). 


The bibliography of the Forum is particularly rich. There is 
no book connected with Roman archaeology without a reference to 
it. The works must be divided into three classes : {a) accounts of 
discoveries of single buildings, sculpture, inscriptions, etc., with 
no attempt at a general reconstruction of the Forum ; {b') attempts 
at a general reconstruction of the Forum before the final excava- 
tions of 1870-84; {c) works published after the excavations of 

In the first class we find a precious source of information. The 
series begins with an Expose dhme decoiiverte de i7i. le chev. Fredeii- 
heim f elite au Forum romaniim eit jaitvier 1779, published by 
Oberlin at Strasburg in 1796, and ends with Pietro Pericoli's 
Storia deW Ospedale della Co7isolazio?ie di Roma^ 1879, where the 
history of the destruction of the basilica JuHa is related from un- 
edited documents. Works of this class will be quoted in connec- 
tion with the single discoveries or monuments which they throw 
light upon. 

The second class has lost much of its importance, its elements 
being necessarily rather speculative than founded on fact ; yet 
students will find in works of this kind wonderful erudition and 
copious references to classic texts. Consult, among others — 

Nibby, Antonio — Del foro rotnano, della via Sacra, etc., Roma, 1819 ; 
and Roma neW anno 1838, part i. vol. ii. p. 277. Piale, Stefano — Del foro 
romano, sua posizione e grandezza, Roma, 1818 (1832) ; Della basilica Giidia, 
1824 (1833); ^^' tempi di Giano, etc., 1819 (1833). Caristie, Auguste — 
Plati et coupe d'unepartie du forum roffiain, Paris, 1829, fol. Canina, Luigi 
— Descrizione storica del foro romano e sue adiacenze. Roma, 1834. Bunsen, 
Charles — Les forutiis de Rome restaurh et expliquds, Rome, 1837 ; and 
Deschreibung d. St. Rom., vol. iii. B. Ravioli e Montiroli — 11 foro romano. 
Roma, 1852. Braun, Emil — Das Forum, in Philologus, suppl. ii. (1862), p. 
381, sq. Tocco, Efifisio — R ipristinazione del foro romano. Roma, 1858. 

The excavations of 1870-84 have called forth a number of 
works. Leaving aside those that refer to single discoveries or 
to single monuments — mention of which will be found in the 
proper place — the few of a general character are — 

Jordan, Heinrich — Capitol, Forum, und Sacra via, Berlin, Weidmann, 
1881 ; Die Uberreste des Forum, in Topographic, vol. i'^, p. 154 ; and Sylloge 
inscript. fori romani, in Ephem. epigraph., vol. iii. (1876) p. 237. Brizio, 
Edoardo — Relazione . . . sulle scoperte archeologiche della citta . . . di 
Roma, 1873. Dutert, Ferdinand — Le forum romain et les forums de Jules 
Cisar, etc. Paris, 1876. Parker, John H. — The Roman Forum, in Archae- 
ology of Rome, vol. ii. 1876. Nichols, Francis M. — The Roman Forum. 
London, 1877. Marucchi, Orazio — Descrizione del foro romano e guida per 
la visita dei suoi tnonumenti. Roma, 1883. French edition. Middleton, 



John H. — The Fonmi Romanuin and its Adjacenf Buildings, in Remains of 
Ancient Rome, vol. i. chap. vi. p. 231. London, 1892. Levy and Lucken- 
bach — Forum romanuin, Munich, 1895. 

XXIL Area of the Forum. — The Forum is not rectangular, 
as prescribed by Vitruvius (v. i), but in the form of a trapezoid. 
Before the construction of the temple of Caesar, on the site where 
his body had been cremated, it was 160 metres long. After the 

sxrz or 


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I Sio^l W96, ISOA. 1511. IM2, m?,U80 


1511. lM2,m?,U8f 

1 .[«^SI!lfl|W 


temple was built, its area was severed from that of the Forum, 
and the Sacra via made to pass between them — by which measure 
the Forum was reduced to a length of 102 metres. The breadth 
varies from a maximum of 45 metres on the west side to a minimum 
of 36 metres at the east end.^ It is surrounded by streets on three 
sides : by the street ad Jamini on the north, by the Sacra via on 

^ According to Varro the Forum originally measured septem jugera = 
^7'539'20 square metres; its actual surface does not exceed 4131 square 


the east and south, while the area Concordiae and the winding 
divus CapitoHnus constitute its western boundary Hne. 

The Sacra via has been already described in the opening section 
of this Book. The street ad Janum took its name from the temple 
of that god which stood at the entrance to the via Argiletana, 
between the Senate-house and the basilica Fulvia-Aemilia. It ex- 
tended from the Comitium to the temple of Antoninus, limiting the 
area of the Forum on the north side. At the beginning of the 
seventh century of Rome it became the rendezvous of brokers, 
money-changers, bankers, and usurers, who could find shelter from 
rain or sun under the porticoes of the basilica. Cicero and Horace 
describe the centre of the street — ad Jaiiiim medium — as the 
Bourse or Exchange of ancient Rome. Modern writers, forgetting 
that the adjectives " summus, medius, imus," applied to a slightly 
inclined road, mean its highest, middle, and lowest point, have 
imagined the existence on this road of three "jani" or four-faced 
archways, and have even produced drawings of them. Bentley ad 
Horat. Epist., i. i, 54, is the first to have found and suggested 
the true meaning of those adjectives. 

Literature. — Nichols, F. M. — The Roman Forum, p. 240. Jordan, H. 
— Una rettificazione alia pianta del f ore, in Bull, Inst., 1881, p. 103. 
Lanciani, R, — La cloaca jnaxima, in Bull, com., 1890, p. 98. 

The Forum is paved negligently with slabs of travertine which 
must date from the time of Diocletian, who repaired the ravages 
of the fire of Carinus. The pavement was edged with a raised 
border also of travertine, which, being only 072 metre wide, cannot 
be called side walk, semi /a, but simply inargo, or border. Its 

Raised border (margo) 

Pavement of iM^m^^^^WM 

Forum 'Mf "" "'" |i Square 

S^ -M holes Pavement of 
<'/////////y^<m^m ''S<- 0.45 V Sacra Via 


most noticeable feature consists in a series of square holes, which 
line the edge (letter A) and look like the sockets in front of our 
palaces and public buildings which held the " fiaccole " on the 
occasion of festivities. Such holes are to be found also at Pompeii 
in the street which runs along the so-called " Scuola al foro." 
Schoene thinks they may have served to hold a wooden fence, to 
direct and contain the crowd on election days ; but such cannot 


have been their purpose in Rome, because they are to be found 
also in front of the temples of Julius Caesar and of Castor and 
Pollux. It is more probable that the poles around our Forum and 
its neighbouring temples were used to support awnings during the 
summer months. The situation of the Forum is such that, while it 
is exposed to the full violence of the rays of the sun, the Capitoline 
and the Quirinal shelter it from the north, and shut off refreshing 
breezes. In summer the temperature is often above 100° in the 
shade. To save the citizens from sunstroke, and to make it possible 
for judges and advocates to discuss their cases, and for orators 
to address their audience, the velaria were brought into use towards 
the end of the Republican period. The merit of the invention seems 
to belong to Julius Caesar, who " totum forum romanum intexit, 
\iamque sacram," Marcellus, the nephew of Augustus, while aedile 
in 23 B.C., "velis forum inumbravit, ut salubrius litigantes con- 
sisterent."^ The same thing occurred in A.D. 39, as related by 
Dion Cassius (lix. 23). At all events we must not picture the 
Forum to ourselves as being always a grave and solemn 
place, only fit for legal discussions, for criminal prosecutions, 
popular indignation meetings, and so forth. The Forum could be 
also a gay and festive place. Religious ceremonies and pageants 
occasionally took place in it ; sacrifices were offered on temporary 
altars ; statues of gods moved round in processions amid the 
smoke of incense and the singing of hymns ; military reviews, 
hunting scenes, gladiatorial fights, and games of every description 
were scenes in the drama of this great stage. Thousands of 
citizens would sometimes sit down in it at political or funeral 
banquets. Works of art and curiosities were also exhibited in 
the Forum. L. Hostilius Mancinus, for instance, the first Roman 
who entered Carthage, had a grand panorama of the siege and 
capture of the Punic capital set up here, while he would describe 
viva voce to the crowd the details of the assault. Famous pictures 
and bronze or marble statues brought over from Greece were also 
shown to the multitudes ; and also such wonders of nature as the 
serpent fifty cubits long described by Suetonius {Aug., 43). On the 
occasion of triumphs or processions private citizens would lend 
their artistic treasures and draperies and carpets for the decoration 
of the Sacra via. At night the Forum was brilliantly illuminated. 

Literature. — ^Th^denat, in Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire, p. 1280. 
Nichols, Y. W. — The Roma?i Forum, pp. 85-93. 

^ Pliny, Hist. iWii. , xv. 20 ; xix. 6. 



The area of the Forum was encumbered with monuments of 
various kinds. Leaving aside those of early Repubhcan times, 
which disappeared under the Empire (the cohwma Maetiia^ the 
pila Horatia^ the Venus Chiaci7ia^ etc.), I shall mention only 
the few the remains of which have been or can still be traced in 
our days. 

XXIII. COLUMNA ROSTRATA, or columna Duilia, a marble 
pillar ornamented with beaks of war-ships, erected in memory of 
the naval victory gained by C. Duilius over the Carthaginians in 
260 B.C. A fragment of its inscription was discovered in July 
1565, between the arch of Severus and the column of Phocas, and 
removed to the vestibule of the palazzo dei Conservatori, where it 
is to be seen at the foot of the stairs, under a more or less fanciful 
model of the column. The inscription, although dating from the 
time of Claudius, is not a copy of the original one. It is prolix, 
slightly incorrect, and seems to have been made up by a gram- 
marian from passages of early annalists. (See Corpus Inscr.^ 
vol. i. pp. 37-40.) 

XXIV. The Sculptured Plutei. — Between the column of 
Phocas and the street of Janus, one of the most interesting monu- 

FIG. 95. 


ments was brought to light in September 1872. It consists of two 
screens or plutei of white marble, with bas-reliefs on either side, 


surmounted by a richly carved cornice. Each screen, composed 
of several pieces of marble (a few missing), stands on a foundation 
of travertine, and a plinth of marble, which is a modern and 
doubtful addition. The exact state in which the bas-reliefs were 
found in September 1872 is shown in the above cut (Fig, 95). 
The inside panels represent the three animals sacrificed in the 
great lustral ceremony of the stiovctaurilia — the sow, the ram, and 
the bull — all adorned with ribbons and all moving in the direction 
of the basihca Julia. The outer reliefs represent historical scenes, 
with a view of the Forum itself in the background. Their mean- 
ing has given rise to much controversy. Consult — 

Henzen, Wilhelm— ^z7?ez/? di marmo scoperti nelf. r. , in Bull. Inst., 1872, 
p. 273. Brizio, Edoardo — in A7i7ial. Inst., 1872, p. 309, pi. 47. Ravioli, 
Camillo — Ilsoggetto esposto nei bassorilievi del/, r. , in Corrispondenza scientifica, 
1872, anno 25, n. 14, 15. Visconti, C. Ludovico — Deux actcs de Doinitien 
en qualiU de censeur, etc. Rome, 1873. Nichols, F. M. — The Roma?i 
Forum, pp. 60-68. Parker, J. H. — The Fonivt, in Archaeology of Rome, vol. 
ii. pi. 13. Marucchi, Orazio — Importanza topografica dei bassorilievi del 
f. r., in Gli studi in Italia, 1880, i. p. 678; and Bull. Inst., 1881, pp. 11, 
33. Jordan, Heinrich — Topographie, i^, p. 220. Cantarelli, Luigi — Osserva- 
zioni sulla scene nei bassorilievi del f. r., in Bull, com., 1889, p. 99. 

It seems almost certain that the scene facing the Capitol 
alludes to the provision made by Trajan for the education and 
maintenance of children of poor or deceased citizens ("pueri et 
puellae alimentarii"). The Emperor is seated on a suggestum ad- 
dressing a female figure, a personification of Italy, who carries an 
infant on the left arm, while another child probably stood on her 
right. On the opposite side of the same picture the Emperor is 
represented addressing the crowd from the Rostra. The second 
bas-relief, facing the south, represents the burning of the registers 
in which the sums due to the Fiscus by negligent tax-payers were 
recorded. This act of generosity of Trajan is praised by Ausonius. 
The importance, however, of these panels rests in the view of the 
background, which represents the scene that was in reality before 
the spectator, the Forum and its surroundings. 

The view (Fig. 96) begins on the left with the rostra Julia, from. 
which the Emperor is addressing the crowd ; behind him we sec {(i) 
the arch of Augustus, {b) the temple of Castor and Pollux, (c) the 
opening of the vicus Tuscus, {d^ the basilica Julia. The design 
of the latter is continued on the second bas-relief facing the Capitol. 
Next comes {/) the temple of Saturn, (/) a fragment of the Tabu- 
larium (?), (^) the temple of Vespasian, (//) the rostra Vetera, 
represented in a conventional form. The statue of Marsyas and 





the ficus Ruminalis, which appear in both panels, symbolise the 
Forum and the Comitium. (See Jordan's Marsyas aufden Forum. 
Berhn, 1883.) 

Opinions differ very much as to what purpose — beyond a com- 
memorative object — these two screens served. Nichols suggests 
that they "formed a sort of an avenue leading to an altar and 




statue of the Emperor, in whose honour the monument may have 
been erected after his deification." Middleton supposes " that they 
formed a sort of gangway through which voters had to pass to 
reach the ballot boxes on the Comitium, in order to facilitate the 
onward movement of the crowd of citizens in an orderly stream,'' 
It is almost certain, however, that the plutei are not in their 
original place ; so that all speculation about their scope is useless. 
They must have been placed on their rough travertine socles by 
Diocletian in his restoration of the Forum after the fire of Carinus. 
Thedenat seems to attribute them to the rostra Vetera {Dictio7i- 
naire^ p. 1305). 

XXV. Monumental Columns on the Sacra vl\. — Near 
and along the " margo " which limits the pavement of the Forum 
on the south side stand eig^ht square pedestals of monumental 



columns, the shafts of which, varying in size and quality, are lying 
close by. The first column near the south-east corner was covered 
with ornaments of gilt bronze, as shown by the holes of the clamps 
to which they were riveted. The other shafts are of grey or red 
granite, and one of white marble. Professor Jordan has been able 


to date the erection of these pillars by means of brick- stamps 
which can still be seen at the foot of the first and third pedestals : 
they belong to the age of Constantine. Five pillars of this kind 
are represented in a bas-relief of the triumphal arch of that 
Emperor, the background of which is almost as interesting for the 
topography of the Forum as that of the plutei described above. 
The first building on the left is the basiHca Julia ; the second is 
the arch of Tiberius (?) ; then come five monumental Columns 
supporting statues, and last of all the arch of Severus. The 
Emperor is delivering a speech from the rostra Vetera. If these 
columns were raised on their pedestals the picturesqueness and 
interest of the Forum would be greatly enhanced. 

Literature. — Fea, Carlo — Varieta diNotizie, p. 71. Ficoroni, Francesco — 
Metnorie, n. 80. Jordan, Heinrich — Bull, hist., 1881, p. 106; Ann. Inst., 
1883, p. 49; ^wd Epheineris epigraphica, p. 259. Richter, Otto — Dieroemische 
Rednerbiihne, in Jahrbuch, 1889, pp. 8-14. 

XXVI. The Caballus Constantini (equestrian statue of 
Constantine). — In 1873 an official announcement was given to the 
archaeological world of the discovery of the " pedestal of Domitian's 
equestrian statue " in the middle of the Forum. (See Rosa, Pietro 
— Relazio7te., p. 71.) They did not hesitate to identify as a famous 
work of art of the golden age a rough and ugly bit of masonry, 
resting, without foundations, on the travertine pavement of the time 
of Diocletian : they did not recollect that the equestrian statue 
could not have survived the " memoriae damnatio " of Domitian ; 
that it must have perished the very day of his death ; and that if 
it had not been described accidentally by a contemporary poet 
(Statins, Silv.., 1), no one would ever have had a suspicion of its 
existence. The pedestal belongs very likely to the Caballus 
Co?istantini., mention of which occurs in documents of the seventh 
and eighth centuries. The equestrian group was raised in 334, 
and its commemorative inscription is given by the Corpus., vol. vi. 
n. 1 141. 

References. — Fea, Carlo, in Winckelmann's StoriadeW arte, vol. iii. p. 410. 
Bunsen, Charles — Forum, p. 15. Jordan, Heinrich — Ephem. epigr. , vol. iii. 
p. 256. De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Inscript. christ., vol. ii. 5. Lanciani, 
Rodolfo — Itinerar. Einsiedlen, p. 20. 

XXVII. Unknown Building on the east side, opposite the 
temple of Julius. Three buildings of the late Empire, not later at 
all events than the end of the sixth century, were rashly destroyed 
in 1872-74, under the pretext that they did not belong to the 
classic age. Jordan has described them carefully, p. 252 of vol. 


iii. of the Ephem. epigraphica^ and considers their disappearance 
as a "maximum detrimentum " to the study of the Forum. The 
first stood near the marble plutei, the second near the cohimn of 
Phocas, the third extended over the whole east side of the Forum, 
from the vicus Tuscus to the street ad Janum, and consisted of 
five large rooms, handsomely decorated with marble cornices, 
pieces of which are still left in situ. Rather than shops I would 
consider them used for a public office like that of the " scribae 
aedilium curulium " at the opposite end of the Forum. An in- 
scription discovered here on May 13th, 1872, engraved on an 
architrave 3-44 metres long, relates how Lucius Valerius Septi- 
mius Bassus, prefect of the city between 379 and 383, had dedicated 
the structure, to which the architrave belongs, in honour of Grati- 
anus, Valentinian, and Theodosius. Perhaps this is the date of 
the building destroyed by Rosa. 

XXVII I. Monuments of the Gothic and Gildonic Wars. 
— On the street ad Janum, opposite the Senate-house, stands an 
historical monument relating to the Gothic wars of the beginning 
of the fifth century. The inscription, fifteen lines long, praises 
the fidehty and valour shown by the army of Arcadius, Honorius, 
and Theodosius in the mighty struggle which ended with the 
defeat of Radagaisus in 405. The victory is attributed to Stilicho, 
the Roman leader : " confectum gothicum bellum . . . consiliis 
et fortitudine magistri utriusque militiae Flavii Stilichonis." The 
memorial set up by decree of the S.P.Q.R. under the care of 
Pisidius Romulus, prefect of the city in 405, is the meanest and 
poorest in the whole Forum, and shows how low Roman pride, 
taste, and finance had fallen in those days. It is made of two 
blocks — one of travertine, which forms the base, and one of marble 
above it. This latter had been already used as a pedestal to an 
equestrian statue of bronze ; the • statue was knocked off, the 
pedestal set negligently upright on one of the ends, its cracks 
readjusted with iron clamps, and the new inscription written 
across the old one after the latter had been obliterated with care. 

The details of the struggles which mark this period of the 
agony of the western Empire are copiously described by the 
monuments found or existing in this corner of the Forum. In 
August 1539 two pedestals were found between the arch of 
Severus and the church of SS. Sergio e Bacco : one recording 
the African exploits of Stilicho, the other set up by the same 
Pisidius Romulus " pro singulari eius (Stilichonis) amore atque 


providentia." The first was removed to the palazzo Capranica 
alia Valle, the second to the villa Medici. In 1549-65, a few feet 
from the monument of 405, cardinal Farnese found the base of 
an equestrian group raised to Arcadius and Honorius, in com- 
memoration of their victory over count Gildo, the African rebel 
of 398. The inscribed slabs of this monument are still lying 
abandoned in disorder in this vicinity. In the same year 405 a 
triumphal arch was raised to the three Emperors, " because they 
had wiped off from the face of the earth the nation of the Goths." 
Four years later Rome was stormed by the very barbarians whom 
they boasted to have annihilated. 

Literature. — Huelsen, Christian — // monumento della guerra gildonica sul 
foro rornano, in Mittheil. , 1895, p. 52. Notizie degli Scavi, 1880, p. 53. 
Jordan, Heinrich — Sylloge inscr. fori romani, n. iii, iii^, 122. Corpus 
hiscript., vol vi. n. 1187, 1730, 1731. 

XXIX. The Column of Phocas. — The pedestal of this 
column, to which the most conflicting names had been given by 
early topographers, was discovered on the morning of February 
23rd, 1813, with the inscription which tells the tale of its erection. 
According to this document, the pillar was set up in honour of 
Phocas by Zmaragdus, exarch of Italy, " pro innumerabilibus 
pietatis eius beneficiis, et pro quiete procurata Italiae," and 
dedicated on August 1st, 608. It is the last monument erected 
in the Forum yet free from the ruins which were to bury and 
conceal it so soon after : it marks the close of the ancient period 
and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The brick pedestal is 
exactly like the eight others which line the Sacra via ; it was 
concealed from view by a flight of nine marble steps, each 0"36 
of a metre high. The inscription is engraved on the marble base 
which stands at the top of the steps. The column is 14 metres 
high, with a diameter of 1-39 metres, and leans considerably 
towards the south-east. Its style (and that of its capital) is 
certainly better than that prevailing in the seventh century ; 
therefore either the column has been removed bodily from a 
classic edifice, or else Zmaragdus has dedicated to Phocas a 
monument which up to his time had borne another name. I 
believe that the words of the inscription, " Zmaragdus has placed 
a gilt statue of his Emperor on the top of this sublime column," 
must be understood in the latter sense. 

References. — Diario di Roma, 5 marzo 1817 — 4 agosto 1818. Visconti, F. 
Aurelio — Lettera sopra la colonna di Foca, Roma, de Romanis, 1813. Fea, 



Carlo — Osservaz. suit' anjiteatro Flavio, p. 63, n. 3. Iscrizionl di jiio?utmenti 
publici, Roma, Contedini, 1813, n. 2. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 1200. 


Buildings on the North Side of the Forum 

XXX. Curia Hostilia — Julia — Senatus (Plan No. 
XXIII.) — The Senate -house was, politically speaking, the most 
important building in the Roman world. The place where it stands 
was occupied at an early age by a small wood, by a cave over- 


grown with ivy, and by a spring, at which Tarpeia was drawing 
water when she saw Tatius for the first time. The first senators 
met here, dressed in sheepskins, in a square hut covered by a 
thatched roof. TuUus HostiHus gave the " patres conscripti " a 
better seat, an oblong hall, built of stone on the north-east side 
of the Comitium, raised on a platform above the reach of floods, 
and accessible by a flight of steps, down which the body of 
Servius was hurled by Tarquinius. Inside it contained several 
rows of benches, the Speaker's chair, a small apartment for the 
archives, and a vestibule. The outside wall on the Argiletum 
was decorated in 264 B.C. with a picture representing the victory 
of M. Valerius Messalla over king Hieron of Syracuse. Hence the 
name ad tabidain Valeriam popularly given to the place. We must 
remember also that, the Senate being forbidden to vote a measure 
unless assembled in a temple, their hall was consecrated. Cicero 
calls it sometimes a "templum inauguratum," sometimes "templum 
publici concilii." So extreme was the frugality and self-denial 
of Republican senators that they had never allowed their hall to 
be warmed in winter. On January 6th, 62 B.C., Cicero wrote to 
his brother that the Speaker Appius had summoned the senators 
to an important meeting, when it grew so cold that he was obliged 
to dismiss the assembly, and expose its members to the raillery of 
the populace. Such was the Curia Hostilia. 

Sulla repaired, and perhaps enlarged, it in 80 B.C. Twenty- 
eight years later it was burned down by the partisans of Clodius. 
The revolutionary instincts of the mob having been aroused by 
fiery speeches from the Rostra, a certain Sextus Clodius, a scribe, 
broke into the Curia at the head of a band of roughs, carrying 
the body of the murdered anarchist, and having made a pyre of 
the benches, tables, books, and shelves, set the building ablaze 
and destroyed it with the adjoining basilica Porcia. 

The task of re-erecting it in a more splendid form was given 
by the Senate to Faustus, son of Sulla, with the promise that it 
should be called, from both of them, Curia Cornelia. The works 
were interrupted a few years later, and Lepidus the triumvir was 
asked to substitute for the Curia a temple of Felicitas. In 44 B.C., 
however, Julius Caesar, who hated to see the name of the Cornelii 
attached to the Senate-house, obtained for himself the commission 
to rebuild it under the name of Curia Julia. The works, inter- 
rupted by the death of the dictator on March 15th, 44, were con- 
tinued by the triumvirs, and completed by Augustus, The solemn 
dedication took place in 725/29, a year famous for the three 



triumphs celebrated by the founder of the Empire, and for the 
closing of the temple of Janus " pace terra marique parta." 
Augustus added to the Curia Julia a chalcidiciwi (called in later 
times Atrium Mi?iervae\ a court surrounded by a colonnade ; 
placed in the hall two famous pictures signed by Nikias and 
Philochares, the statue of Victory from Tarentum, and an altar 
before it, which was inaugurated on August 28 th of the same year 
29. It is needless to state that the Curia Julia occupied absolutely 
the same consecrated space, the same " templum inauguratum " as 
the old Curia Hostilia, and that the new inauguration mentioned 
by GelHus (xiv. 7) refers not to the hall itself, but to the additions 
made to it. 

The Curia Julia suffered great damage from the fire of Nero, 




and was repaired by Domitian. Another fire burnt it to the 
ground under Carinus, and Diocletian reconstructed it under the 
name of Senaius. I have found in the Ufizi at Florence, and in 
the Kunstgewerbe Museum at Berlin, a precious set of drawings 
by Antonio da Sangallo, Baldassarre and Sallustio Peruzzi, and 
others, in which Diocletian's work is illustrated in every archi- 
tectural and decorative detail. 

Literature. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — L! aula e gli uffici del Senato romano, 
Roma, Salviucci, 1883 (Aui Lincei, vol. xi. 28 genn. 1883) ; and Ancient 
Rofne, p. jj. Th^denat, in Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire, p. 1293. 

The Senate -house formed a rectangle 51-28 metres long, 
27-54 metres wide, with the front on the Comitium and the back 



resting against the enclosure -wall of the forum Julium, a huge 
construction of tufa and travertine (see Fig. 99). 

On the right side it touched the Argiletum, viz. the open space 
before the forum Transitorium, in the middle of which stood the 
temple of Janus ; on the left it bordered on a small square orna- 
mented with a fountain, composed of a river god (the Marforio 
of the Capitoline museum) from whose urn the water fell into a 
tazza of granite (now in front of the Quirinal palace). The hall 
itself was 25-20 metres long, 17-61 metres wide. Its walls were 
covered with marble incrustations like those of SS. Cosma e 
Damiano, of the Hierusalem (S. Croce), of the basilica of Junius 

Bassus, etc., and they are 
described by A. da San- 
gallo and Etienne du Perac. 
Cardinal du Bellay de- 
stroyed them about i 5 50. 
I have discovered a sketch 
of three panels in a drawing 
formerly in the Destailleur 
collection, now in the 
Kunstgewerbe at Berlin 
(portfolio f. A. 376,pl. 35)- 
The quality of the marbles 

FIG. 100.— THE MARBLE INCRUSTATIONS OF THE Jg Carcfullv nOtcd * " SCr- 
SENATE-HALL. . ^ , „ 

pentm, pornde, marmo," 
etc., and also the position of the panels: "deli dui bande de la 
nice " on either side of the apse. 

The hall was covered by a vaulted ceiling, with heavily gilt 
lacunaria. On the outside 
the building appeared rather 
shabby : plain brick walls 
were plastered over in imita- 
tion of marble. The cornice 
was more elaborate, as 
shown by the accompany- 
ing sketch of the Anonymus 
of Destailleur. 

The bas-reliefs of the 
pediment represented, ac- 
cording to Ligorio {BodL, p. 7), " certi mostri marini chiamati 
Tritoni quali suonavano certe bucine. ..." Traces of the stucco- 
work can still be seen in the upper part of the facade. The 


FIG. lOI. 


Senate-house was doubly christianised : the hall of assembly at the 
time of pope Honorius I. (circa 630), under the invocation of 
S. Adriano ; the Offices or secretariuin (Diiplissiini Senatus about 
the same epoch, under the invocation of S. Martina. They kept 
their classic form and retained their classic adornments until the 
beginning of the seventeenth century. Cardinal Michele Bonelli 
under Sixtus V, cut the building in two with his new "via 
Bonella." The church of S. Adriano was modernised partly 
in 1589 by cardinal Agostino Cusano, partly in 1654 by Alfonso 
Sotomayor; that of S. Martina by Urban VIII. and Piero da 

The bronze gates of the Curia were removed to S. Giovanni in 
Laterano by Alexander VII., but as the folds measured only 579 
metres in height, 3-56 in width, while the size of the Lateran door 
was considerably larger, Borromini was obliged to add a band 
to the ancient metal -work. The band is ornamented with the 
typical stars of the Chigis. Martinelli says that while the bronze 
folds were thus adapted to their new destination, several coins 
were discovered hidden between the inside and outside panels, 
one of which bore the name and the image of Domitian. 

Literature. — Bianchini, Giuseppe — Dissertaziotie sopra la Curia, in Cod. 
Vat., 81 13, f. 113. Holstenius, Lucas — De origifie ecclesiac S. Hadriani, '\n 
Fea's Miscellanea, vol. i. p. 306. Canina, Luigi — Siigli edifici esistenti nel 
Itwgo ora occupato dalla chiesa di S. Martina. Rome, 1830. Mommsen, 
Theodor — De Comitio romano, cur Us, Janiqtie teinplo, in Annal. Inst., 1844, 
p. 288. Reber, Franz — Die Lage der Curia Hostilia und der Curia Julia. 
1858. Detlefsen — De Comitio rofnano, \n AnnaX. Inst,, i860, p. 138. Auer — 
Der Altar der Gottin Victoria in der Curia Julia zu Rom. Wien, 1859. Lan- 
ciani, Rodolfo — L aula e gli uffici del Senato romano. Roma, Salviucci, 
1883 (Atti Lincei, vol. xi. 28 genn. 1883). Middleton, J. H.^ — The Remains 
of Ancie?it Rome, vol. i, p. 239. Huelsen, Christian — Das Comitium und seine 
Denkmdler, in Mittheil. , 1893, p. 279, pi. 4, vi'ith the comments ofThddenat, 
in Daremberg and SagUo's Dictionnaire, p. 1292, n. 7. 

XXXI. The Comitium (Plan No. XXIV.)— The space be- 
tween the Rostra Vetera and the front of the Senate-house, neatly 
paved with slabs of travertine, marks the site of the Comitium. 
It must be remembered that the street passing through the arch 
of Septimius Severus, by which the Rostra (and the Forum) are 
separated from the Comitium, is an addition of the third century 
after Christ. Before it the two places were separated only by a 
few steps. In the early days of Rome the Comitium was the 
centre of civil and political business, while the Forum was used 
simply as a market-place ; but with the increase of the population 


and with the spread of democracy the centre was shifted to the 
Forum, and the Comitium lost for ever its importance. Its main 
ornaments were the statue of Atta Navius, the augur who cut the 
whetstone with the razor, and the puteal under which whetstone 
and razor had been buried ; and Xkv^ficus Navia, a fig-tree which the 
popular fancy believed to have been transplanted here from the 
banks of the Tiber by the same miracle-working augur. It was 
considered to represent the Jiciis rumiiialis which had sheltered 
with its shade the infant twins sucking the she-wolf; and this 
event was recorded by a bronze group not unlike the one now 
preserved in the palazzo dei Conservatori. (Compare Helbig's 
Guide to the Collectioti of Antiquities in Ro?ne, vol. i. p. 459, 
n. 618.) There were also the statues of Porsena, of Horatius 
Codes, of Hermodoros from Ephesus, who had helped the 
decemvirs in the codification of the laws, of Pythagoras, 
Alcibiades, and others. Concerning the last -mentioned, Ennio 
Quirino Visconti observes that the noble statue of the museo Pio 
Clementino, known as the " Gladiatore " or the " Atleta Mattel " 
(No. 61 1 sala della Biga), is nothing else than a marble copy of 
the bronze figure of Alcibiades in the Comitium, and corroborates 
his statement by comparing the features of the head with those of 
bust No. 510 in the Hall of the Muses, inscribed with the name 
of the Greek hero. Emil, Braun — Rui7ts and Museums^ p. 282, 
n. 166, says: "It is not impossible that this statue, originally in 
the villa Mattel, is a repetition of that placed upon the Comitium, 
although positive proofs are wanting." Wolfgang Helbig — Guide, 
etc., vol. i. pp. 192 and 235, denies any connection between the 
marble of the Vatican and the bronze of the Comitium. 

The only monuments visible in the narrow ledge of the Comi- 
tium yet excavated are two marble pedestals of statues dedicated, 
one to Flavins Julius Constantius (350-361), by Memmius Vitrasius 
Orfitus, prefect of the city in 353-354; the other to Arcadius 
(395-408), by Ceionius Rufius Albinus, prefect in 398. These 
and other pedestals lined the border of the Comitium towards the 
Argiletum, the pavement of which has been excavated for a length 
of ten or fifteen metres only. 

References. — Brecher — Die Lage des Comitiutn, etc. Berlin, 1870. 
Dernburg, H. — Uber die Lage des Comitium und des frdtoHschen Tribunals, 
in Bull. Inst., 1863, p. 38. Mommsen, Theodor— Z?g Cotnitio romano, etc., 
in Annal. Instit. , vol. xvi. (1844) p. 288. Reber, Franz — Die Lage der 
Curia. 1858. Detlefsen — De Comitio romano, in Annal. Instit., vol. xxxii. 
(i860) p. 138, pi. D. Lanciani, R.- — Atti Lincei, vol. xi. 28 genn. 1883. 
Dyer, Thomas — Roma, in Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, vol. ii. 


P- 775- Marucchi, Orazio — Descript. du forum rojnain, p. 51. Huelsen, 
Christian, in Mittheilungen , 1893, p. 279. 

The other two buildings on the north side of the Forum were 
the temple of Janus (XXIV^ A) and the basilica AemiHa (XXV.) 
Both still lie buried under the modern embankment ; and as it is 
not my scope to write a manual on Roman topography, but simply 
to guide the student and the traveller in their visit to monuments 
and ruins which have been made accessible by modern excavations, 
I shall proceed at once to describe the 

Buildings on the East Side 

XXXII. Aedes divi Iulii (temple of Julius Caesar), Plan 
No. XXVI. — The spot where the body of Caesar had been cremated 
on March 17th, 44, was consecrated by the erection of an altar 
and of a column of Numidian marble, on which the words PARENT! 
patriae were inscribed. The illicit worship was stopped by 
Antonius ; C, Amatius, the leader of the populace, was put to 
death, and many of his partisans were crucified, if slaves, or if 
citizens, hurled from the Tarpeian rock. In 42 B.C., however, the 
triumvirs decided to erect a temple on the historical spot ; 
Augustus began its construction in -i^-^^ and dedicated it on 
August 1 8th of the memorable year 725/29. The programme of 
the ceremony included, among other performances, the Trojan 
games, gladiatorial and theatrical shows, and an exhibition of wild 
beasts upon which the Romans had never set eyes before. The 
temple was enriched with treasures won in the Egyptian campaign 
and with pictures representing the Dioscuri, the Victory, and the 
Venus Anadyomene. This last, a masterpiece of Apelles, having 
been injured by damp and age, was removed from the temple by 
Nero, who substituted in its place another by Dorotheos. 

The temple, being in the lowest portion of the Forum and of 
the Sacra via, was raised on a high platform to protect it from 
the inundations of the Tiber. This platform of concrete was 
strengthened by perimetrical and cross walls made of blocks of tufa 
and travertine, which were stolen away in the excavations of i 543, 
so that it is hardly possible to-day to recognise the former shape 
of the temple. The fragments of its entablature (one of which is 
lying on the platform) belong to a very late restoration. The 
following view of the platform was taken in 1872 at the very 
moment of its discovery (Fig. 102). 

The remains of a semicircular tribune on the edge of the 



podium pertain to the celebrated rostra Julia, ornamented by 
Augustus with the beaks of the ships captured in the battle of 
Actium. It was from this tribune that the same Emperor pro- 
nounced the oration on the death of his sister Octavia. Tiberius 
likewise spoke from it on the occasion of the funeral of Augustus. 


A medal struck in the year 1 1 9, representing an allocution of 
Hadrian from the same rostra, proves that they continued to be 
used for Imperial communications for a long time. 

References, — Babelon — Monn. de la r^publique, ii. p. 59, n. 138. Cohen 
■ — Monn. impir., Hadrian, n. 416-419. Brizio, Edoardo, in Rosa's Relazione 
siille scoperte arc heo logic he, etc, Roma, 1873, p. 59; and Bullett. Instil., 
1872, p. 225, 237. Jordan, Heinrich — Der Tenipel des d. Julius, in Hermes, 
ix. p. 342. Richter, Otto — Die Augustbaut. auf dem Forum, in Jahrbuch Arch. 
Instit. , 1889, p. 140 ; and Mittheilungen of the same Institute, 1888, p. 99. 

XXXIII. Triumphal Arch of Augustus (Plan No. XXVII.) 
— In the same year (725/29) in which the dedication of the temple 
of Caesar and of the Curia Julia took place, Augustus celebrated 
three triumphs for his victories in Dalmatia, in Egypt, and at 
Actium, and the Senate offered him a triumphal arch in the Forum. 
The same honour was granted to him in 18 B.C. for the recovery 
of the flags and of the prisoners lost by Licinius Crassus in the 
Parthian war. Otto Richter discovered the foundations of the 






arch of 725/29 in 1888, in the narrow space which separates the 
temple of Caesar from that of the Castores, I myself proved, 
as far back as 1882, that this arch had been found and destroyed 
by the workmen of the Fabbrica di S. Pietro between 1540 and 
J 546 exactly in that place, and that the inscription Corpus^ vol. 
vii. n. 872 belonged to it. The arch had three openings, like the 
one of Severus. 

Literature. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — Notizie degli Scavi, April 1882. Richter, 
Otto — Mittheil., 1888, p. 99; and Jahrbuch, 1889, pp. 153-157. Nichols, 
F. — The Roman Forum, p. 140; Bull, com., 1888, p. 117. Momnisen, 
Theodor — Res gestae, 9. Huelsen, C\\Y\s\.\^n— Mittheil., 1889, p. 244. 

XXXIV. Aedes Castorum (temple of Castor and Pollux), 
Plan No. XXVIII. — This was dedicated by A. Postumius on 
January 27th, 482 B.C., on the spot, near the pool of Juturna, 
where the Dioscuri had appeared in 496 to announce the victory 
of Lake Regillus. It ._ 

was rebuilt in 117 by L. 
Metellus Ualmaticus with ', '•, ZZ /LJ 

the prize-money of the ' ' ..".".... 

Dalmatian war, and orna- \ \ / « I ^'^"^ 

mented with statues and \ \ ^__^ |_^ (^ 

pictures, among which . 

was the portrait of Flora /\ \ . 

the courtesan. Although / ^^^ 

named officially from \ ^^^ r^*^ '^l 

both the Dioscuri, it went ^^^ "^/ 

usually by that of Castor ^ 

alone, as shown, among 

other documents, by the 

accompanying fragment 


of the marble plan dis- 
covered in 1882. 

Bibulus, whose name 
Avas never pronounced with that of Caesar his more famed 
colleague in the aedileship, used to say that he shared the same 
fate as Pollux. It is interesting to follow the story of the 
extortions of Verres in connection with this temple, as related 
by Cicero, because it throws much Hght on the system adopted 
by the Romans to keep their buildings in repair. The censors 
had entered into a contract with P. Junius to take charge of 
the temple and of its contents for a fixed yearly sum of money. 
Junius died leaving a son, a minor, in whose name the contract 


was transferred to a L. Rabonius. Verres, who, as praetor 
urbanus, had special cognisance of repairs to public buildings, 
thinking it intolerable that out of so great a temple and so large 
a contract he should not obtain some plunder, summoned Rabonius 
before him to declare what could be required from his ward that he 
had not fulfilled. The answer was that no difficulty whatever had 
arisen from the contract and that the temple was in perfect repair. 
Verres goes himself to inspect the building. " The only thing you 
can do here," suggests one of his accomplices, " is to require the 
columns to be made perpendicular." In Junius' contract, though 
the number of columns was specified, not a word was said about 
the perpendicular ; yet, overpowered by Verres, L. Rabonius 
agrees to do the work for 560,000 sesterces, the sum to be taken 
out of the minor's estate, and to find its way, for the greater part, 
into the praetor's hands. The work done under these circum- 
stances is thus described by Cicero : " Those columns which you 
see freshly whitened have been taken down by machinery and 
erected again with the same stones. Nay, some of them have not 
been touched at all. There is one from which the old plastering 
only has been removed, and new stucco applied." We gather 
from the words of Cicero that the columns of the temple of 
Metellus were of stone covered with fine stucco, like those of the 
temples of Fortuna Virilis, of Hercules Magnus Custos, and of 
Cybele on the Palatine. 

The temple of Castor, with its lofty substructures and com- 
manding situation, was one of the most conspicuous objects of the 
Forum, and became in turbulent times a rallying point of great 
political importance. Popular meetings were often held in front 
of it, when its pronaos served the purpose of the Rostra. In 
88 B.C. Sulla and Q. Pompeius Rufus, his colleague in the consul- 
ship, were attacked here by the partisans of Marius. The contest 
between Cato and Metellus, respecting the recall of Pompeius 
from Asia, also took place on the terrace before the temple. In 
58 B.C., during the troubled consulate of Piso, when Cicero's 
Ijanishment was discussed, the temple fell into the hands of the 
partisans of Clodius ; its steps were torn up and used as missiles, 
and the building became, in the words of Cicero, a citadel in the 
hands of his political enemies. 

The present ruins, considered to be a gem of art, date from 
the reconstruction of Tiberius and Drusus, 7 B.C. Caligula 
opened a communication between the cella and his palace, pre- 
tending he would make the sons of Jupiter and Leda his private 


door-keepers. He also used to place himself unobserved between 
the statues of the divine twins, so as to get a share in the honours 
paid to them. Claudius restored the temple to its former state. 

Two annual celebrations were connected with it — one on January 
27 th, the anniversary day of the dedication ; another on July i 5 th, in 
memory of the battle of Lake Regillus. The Roman knights, five 
thousand strong, waving olive branches, clad in purple garments, 
and wearing the decorations gained in the battlefield, mustered at 
the temple of Mars outside the walls, and after marching through 
the city, passed in front of the temple of the Dioscuri, presenting a 
sight worthy, as Dionysius says, of Rome's Imperial greatness. 

No remains of a classic edifice have been studied, designed, 
admired by artists as the three standing columns of this temple. 
Baldassarre Peruzzi calls them "la piu bella e meglio lavorata 
opera di Roma." The temple must have fallen at a very early period, 
because the lane between S. M. Liberatrice and S. M. della Grazie 
has been called via tritim coliiDmariim at least since the end of the 
fourteenth century. The first excavations of which we have positive 
knowledge date from the end of the quattrocento. They are 
described by Pomponio Leto and Francesco Albertino. The second 
date from 1546-49, when, according to Ligorio, two pieces of 
the entablature were discovered, one of which served Lorenzetto 
for his Jonah in the Chigi chapel at S. M. del Popolo ; the other 
Michaelangelo for the pedestal of the equestrian statue of M. 
Aurelius. Ligorio, as usual, tells a falsehood, because the Jonah 
was finished in the lifetime of Raphael (f 1520). In 1773 part 
of the walls of the cella was destroyed, the marble coating removed, 
and even some of the foundation-walls demolished for the sake of 
the blocks of stone of which they were built. In consequence of 
this last spohation the size of the substructures is reduced by half, 
that is to say, it is reduced only to the central mass of concrete ; 
but the impressions left against this mass by the blocks of stone 
of which the outside wall was built enable us to get an idea of 
the original size. (See Fig. 104.) 

Other excavations took place in 1799, 181 1, 18 16, and 181 8. 
The temple was finally liberated from the accumulation of modern 
soil in December 1871 (on three sides only). 

The temple, in common with other religious edifices, was used 
as a safe or repository for objects of value, which private owners 
were afraid of retaining at home. There was also a ponde- 
rarium of standard weights and measures, many of which are 
found in our excavations inscribed with the words EXAC/*/^//; AD 




CASTOR^j-. A fragment of the great inscription of the frieze lies 
at the foot of the stairs ; it contains only traces of two letters, 
which have been completed by professor Tomassetti : 

{Poiluci • t')T • C{asfon). 


Literature. — Albert, Maurice — Le culte de Castor ei Pollux en Italie, Paris, 
1883. Canina, Luigi — Siipplem. al Desgodets, chap, x. pi. 33. Nibby, 
Antonio — Roma nel i8j8, part i. vol. ii. p. 82. Rosa, Pietro — Relazione 
sulk scoperte. Roma, 1873, p. 53. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull. Inst,, 1871, 
p. II. Gatti, Giuseppe — Annal. Inst., 1881, p. 181, pi. N. Tomassetti, 
Giuseppe — La epigrafe del tempio dei Castori, in Bull, com., 1890, p. 209. 
Marucchi, Orazio — Guide du Forum, Rome, 1885, p. 119. Notizie Scavi, 
1896, p. 290. 

Buildings on the South Side 

XXXV. Between the edifice just described and the basilica 
Julia runs the ViCUS TUSCUS, or street of the Tuscans (Plan No. 
XXIX.), which led from the Forum to the Circus maximus. The 
origin of its name is variously explained by ditferent authors, but 
there is no doubt that it came from a colony of Tuscans who settled 


in its vicinity, at the time either of Caeles Vibenna or of Porsenna. 
The tradition on this point seems justified by the presence of the 
shrine and statue of Vertumnus at the entrance to the street, 
whose worship would have been imported by the Etruscans, as that 
of Semo Sancus had been imported on the Quirinal by the Sabine 
colonists, but the Etruscan origin of the god Vertumnus is more 
than doubtful. 

The street vied with the Sacra via in religious importance, 
being the route followed by the great procession of the Ludi 
romani, in which the statues of the gods placed on thcitsae (four- 
wheeled chariots) were carried from the Capitol to the Circus. 
It was also a busy trade quarter. Horace calls these tradesmen 
" Tusci turba impia vici," and alludes to the street as the place to 
which the works of unappreciated poets were carried, to wrap up 
parcels of spices or perfumes. 

XXXVI. Basilica Julia (Plan No. XXX.), begun by Caesar 
about 54 B.C., on the site of the Tabernae veteres, of the basilica 
Sempronia, and of the house of Scipio the African (?), and dedicated 
in an unfinished state in the year 46, together with the forum Julium 
and the temple of Venus Genetrix. Augustus rebuilt and enlarged 
it after a fire, and opened it for public use in the year 12, under 
the name of his grandsons Caius and Lucius. It consists of a 
nave and four aisles divided by square pilasters of travertine, 
once coated with marble. The fronts and sides were built of 
solid marble, with half columns of the Doric order, projecting out 
of square pilasters. The half column which stands alone and 
perfect on the side of the Sacra via was reconstructed by Rosa 
in 1873 ; those on the side of the vicus Jugarius are genuine, 
although in a ruined state. The basilica was destroyed by fire 
under Carinus and rebuilt by Diocletian, who substituted brick 
pilasters and arches for the old solid structure of travertine. The 
mixture of the two styles and epochs is satisfactorily illustrated 
by the following view taken at the south-west corner of the basilica, 
by the lactcs Servilius (Fig. 105). 

In March 1883 a pedestal was found on the edge of the steps 
descending to the Sacra via, with the inscription : G AElNivs • VETTIVS 
PROBIANVS • Nir • Qlarissbniis • PRAEFectus • VRB/ • statvam 

ORNAMENTO • ESSEX • ADIECIT. Probianus was prefect of Rome 
A.D. ^yy, under Valens, Gratian, and Valentinian. He restored 
the basiHca and enriched it with works of art and statues removed 



from temples which were either closed or falling" into ruin. Five 
pedestals bearing his name have already been found. The origin 
of the first is not known, but it was first noticed in the Santa- 
croce palace in the fifteenth century. The second was discovered 
in 1554 near the column of Phocas ; the third in 1655 by the 
Senate-house ; the fourth in 1835 on the steps of the basihca itself; 
the fifth, a frag-ment, is kept at S. Clemente. We know that three, 
at least, of these statues were the work of Polykletos, of Timarchos, 


and of Praxiteles, these celebrated names being engraved on plinths 
discovered within or near the basilica. 

Literature. — De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Bull, com., 1893, P- i74- Lanciani, 
Rodolfo — Bull. Inst., 1871, p. 245. Jordan, Heinrich — Ephemeris epigraphica, 
vol. iii. p. 277. Petersen, Eugene — Notizie degli Scavi, 1895, p. 495. 

The question has been asked whether the basilica was totally 
or partially hypaethral, and in case it was not, whether it was 
vaulted over or covered by a roof resting on trusses. The 
question was rather complicated by a discovery I made in 1878. 
During the inundation of that year, which brought the Tiber on a 


level with the marble floor of the building, I noticed that while the 
north-east corner was just lapped by the still waters, the south-east 
was 15 centimetres above them, the south-west 45 centimetres, the 
north-west 37 centimetres. The floor of the basilica, therefore, is 
slanting diagonally from the corner by the lacus Servilius to that by 
the temple of Castor; but this fact does not imply that the place was 
hypaethral, and that its pavement could be rained upon. The floors 
of our churches of S. Saba and of S. Maria in Araceli are equally 
incHned towards the front door, perhaps to facilitate the washing 
of their mosaic floors. The four aisles of the basilica Julia were 
covered by a vaulted ceiling — large masses of which, with stucco 
mouldings, were discovered in 1852, and destroyed in 1872 ; the 
nave was roofed over. 

The basilica Julia was the seat of the court of the centumviri^ 
who sometimes were divided into four sections, sometimes sat all 
together, when the case appeared to be of exceptional gravity. 
Pliny the younger has left an account of the aspect of the basiHca 
on the day of a great trial. The case was brought before the four 
united sections of the Court. Eighty judges sat on their benches, 
while on either side of them stood the eminent lawyers who had 
to conduct the prosecution and defend the accused. The great 
hall could hardly contain the mass of spectators : the upper 
galleries were occupied by men on one side, by women on the 
other, all anxious to hear, which was very difficult, and to see, 
which was easier. Trajan presided over this court more than 

The remains of the stairs leading to the upper galleries are yet 
visible on the south side, together with the shops of bankers and 
money-changers, known in epigraphic documents as the 7tum]nularii 
de basilica hilia. (See Fig. 106.) 

The basilica Julia was partly christianised towards the end of 
the sixth century, when one-half of the outer aisle on the vicus 
Jugarius was dedicated to the mother of the Saviour (S. Maria de 
Foro — later, in Cannaparia). The remains of the church, discovered 
partly in 1871,- partly in 1881, were not treated well, so that of a 
neat edifice, with apse, nave, aisles, side and front door, traces of 
fresco paintings, and considerable remains of the work of Roman 
marmorarii of the eighth and ninth centuries, only one column is 
left standing in situ. (See Mazzanti, in Archivio storico delP Arte^ 
1896, p. 164.) 

In the Middle Ages and in more modern times the basilica 
Julia has been used first as a rope-walk, cannaparia^ then as a 


workshop for stonecutters, and lastly as a cemetery for the hospital 
of la Consolazione (see p. 244). 

The earliest accounts of excavations date from 1496, when 
Adriano di Corneto, the pope's collector of revenues in England, 
was planning the construction of his beautiful palace (now Giraud- 
Torlonia) in the piazza di Scossacavalli, of which he made a 
present to king Henry VII. in 1505. All the travertines used by 
Bramante in the facade of the palace come from the basilica Julia. 

The excavations were resumed in July 1500 by Gregorio da 
Bologna and Domenico da Castello, continued in 1 5 1 1 - 1 2 by 
Giovanni de' Pierleoni, and in 15 14 by Jacopo de Margani. In 
the time of Gregory XIII. a sitting statue of a Roman magistrate 
was discovered, sold to f^errante de Torres, and removed to 
Sicily. Flaminio Vacca restored it to represent Julius Caesar 
covering his head at the sight of the murderer Brutus ! 

In 1742 the portion of the basilica crossed by the Cloaca 
maxima was laid bare, with its pavement of giallo antico, a 
cartload of which was sold to the stonecutter de Blasii. The 
rest of the pavement and many architectural pieces fell a prey to 
chevalier Fr^denheim in November 1788 (to March 1789). 

•Its final discovery, begun in 1848, was completed in 1872. 
The pavement of the aisles, of white marble, is covered with 
tabulae lusoriae, gaming-tables, of every description, about which 
consult among others Becq de Fouquieres's Les jeux des anciens j 
Friedlaender's Sitiengesch.^ vol. i. p. 376 ; and Huelsen — Mittheil.^ 
1896, pp. 227-252. 

Literature. — Mommsen, Theodor — Res gestae divi Ai/gusii, iv. 13, 15. 
Jordan, Heinrich — Sylloge in script, fori rotn., in Ephemeris epigr. , 1877, pp. 
275-283 ; and Fortita Urbis romae, pi. 3, n. 20-23. Gerhard, Otto — Sulla 
basilica Giulia, in Effemeridi letterarie. 1824. Oberlin — Exposi d'nne dd- 
couverte de M. le chcv. Fride^iheim. Strassburg, 1796. Lanciani, Rodolfo — 
Bull, hist., 1871, p. 6 ; and Bull, com., 1891, p. 229. Visconti, C. Ludovico 
— // rapporto sulla escavazione delta basilica Giulia. Roma, 1872. Pellegrini, 
Angelo — -Escavazione delta basilica Giulia, in Bullett. Inst., 1871, pp. 225-233. 
Th^denat, in Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire, p. 1303. 

XXXVII. ViCUS JUGARIUS (Plan No. XXXI.), leading from 
the forum Romanum to the f Olitorium and the porta Carmentalis, 
under the cliffs of the Capitoline, known as the Saxum Carmentae, 
It corresponds to some extent to the modern streets of la Consola- 
zione and la Bufala. At the point where the vicus Jugarius touched 
the basilica Julia there was a fountain, named lacus Servilius 
from the member of the Servilian family who had built it. It 
acquired a ghastly notoriety during the civil wars as the place 


where Sulla exposed the heads of the victims of his proscriptions. 
Agrippa ornamented it with the figure of a hydra. The site of 
the fountain has not yet been explored. 

Buildings on the West Side 

XXXVIII. The Rostra Vetera (Plan No. XXXII.)— The 
date of the erection of this renowned platform, from which magis- 
trates and orators addressed the people, is not well determined ; it 
must be placed, however, between 449 B.C., when the old Volkanal 
is still described as the speaking platform of Appius Claudius, and 
438, when the first mention of the new tribune occurs in Livy (iv. 1 7). 
In 338 C. Maenius ornamented it with the (six) beaks of the war- 
vessels captured at Antium, from which it took the name of Rostra. 
It stood near the border-line between the Comitium and the Forum, 
so that the orators could be easily heard by the patricians and the 
plebeians at the same time. The orators, when speaking, generally 
turned towards the Comitium and the Curia, until C. Gracchus or 
Licinius Crassus introduced the habit of facing the people assembled 
in the Forum. The proximity of the Rostra to the Senate-house 
is proved by the fact that the leaders of the mob, on the day of the 
funeral of Clodius, were chased from them by the flames which 
were consuming the Curia. These topographic references corre- 
spond exactly to the place where the remains of a platform, once 
ornamented with projecting bronze ornaments, and dating from the 
fifth century B.C., have actually been found (see Plan, p. 253). It 
has been the fashion among modern topographers to believe in an 
alleged displacement of the Rostra from one place to the other in 
the last years of Caesar's dictatorship. They seem to forget that 
the Rostra, having been consecrated by the augurs, were, like the 
Curia, a templiim in the strictest sense of the word ; so they are 
called by Livy (viii. 14) and by Cicero {In Vatin.y x. 24). As the 
Curia itself never changed its position, so the rostra Vetera have 
never been removed from their old location, nor has the relation- 
ship between the two temples been altered or broken. The plat- 
form which we behold before us is the same venerable suggestum 
from which the warfare of centuries between aristocracy and 
democracy was carried on in Republican times, and from which 
Cicero pronounced two of his orations against Catiline. Here the 
heads of Antony, of Octavius, of the victims of Marius and Sulla 
were exposed, as well as the bodies of Sulla himself and of Clodius ; 
and here also the laws of the twelve tables were exposed to view. 


I do not pretend to say that Julius Caesar did not interfere in 
some way with the old Rostra ; he may have enlarged them, lined 
them with new beaks, and repaired in a general way the damages 
of the revolution of the Clodians, but he did not change their 
position. He set up again the statues of Sulla and Pompey, which 
had been removed after the battle of Pharsalos, and raised an 
equestrian one to Octavian, then aged only nineteen. We hear 
also of a magnificent bronze statue representing Hercules expiring 
under the tunic of Nessos. 

The head and the hands of Cicero were shown to the populace 
from this very seat of his former triumphs. Orations on the death 
of Caesar and of Augustus were also delivered from the Rostra. 

Literature. — Nichols, F. M. — The Roman Forum, pp. 197-217. Id. — 
Notizie dei Rostri. Roma, Spithoever, 1885. Jordan, Heinrich — Sui rostri 
del foro, in Annal. Inst., 1883, p. 49; and Monumenti dell' Inst., vol. xi. 
pi. 49. Richter, Otto — Scavo ai rostri del foro, in Bullett. Inst., 1884, 
p. 113. Id. — Rekonstruktion und Geschichte der romischen Rednerbiihne. 
Berlin, Weidmann, 1884. Id. — Die rotnische Rednerbiihne, in Jahrbuch, 
1889, p. I. 

XXXIX. Three monuments connected with the Rostra deserve 
notice : the Genius Popiili Roinani., the Milliarium Aiireinn., and 
the Uvibilictis. 

No trace exists of the first monument. It consisted of an 
aedicula or shrine with a golden statue of the Genius, the gift 
of the Emperor Aurelian, before which sacrifices were offered on 
October the 9th, The statue was still standing in its place at 
the end of the fourth century, when some one scratched on the 
pavement of the basilica Julia the words — 




which seem to make the half of a " tabula lusoria '"' (three words 
of six letters in three lines). The small circular shrine of the 
Genius (tempietto di marmo di forma circulare) was discovered in 
1539- The pedestal of the Genius of the Roman armies had 
already been found in 1480. 

Literature. — Mommsen, Th. — Corpus Inscr., vol. i. , Commentarii diurni, 
October 9 ; and Ueber der Chronograph vom lahre, 354, p. 648. Urlichs, 
Ludwig — Codex U. R. topographicus, pp, 10, 11. Jordan, H. — Ephem. 
epigr., 1876, p. 278, n. 40. Ligorio — Cod. Neap., xxxiv. p. 145. 

Milliarium Aureum (the golden milestone). — A column of 


gilt bronze, on the surface of which were noted the distances 
from the gates of Rome to the postal stations on each of the 
main roads radiating from the metropolis. It was erected by 
Augustus in 29 B.C. as a record of the " mensuratio totius orbis " 
on which he and Agrippa had for many years been engaged. Its 
position was discovered in 1849-50, together with the remains of 
its exquisite marble base. The principal historical interest of the 
Milliarium arises from the meeting which Otho had here, A.D. 
68, with the handful of Praetorians who committed the double 
crime of murdering Galba and of raising Otho to the Imperial 
throne. 1 

The Umbilicus Romae, the round basement of which still 
exists at the other end of the platform, near the arch of Severus, 
belongs to a much later period, probably to the age of Diocletian. 
It corresponded to the o/x^aA.09 of Greek cities. Ancient docu- 
ments place it close to the temple of Concord and to the church 
of SS. Sergius and Bacchus. This last-named edifice is so closely 
connected with the topography of the west end of the Forum and 
of the clivus Capitolinus that, although its remains have long 
since disappeared, it seems necessary to have it briefly described 

XL. The Church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus was the 
only one in this classic district which did not occupy the site of an 
ancient building, but stood in its own ground. The Liber ponti- 
ficalis mentions it for the first time in 731-741, at the time of 
Gregory III., who transformed into a church a small oratory 
already existing in the Volkanal. Hadrian I. (772-795) enlarged 
and improved the structure, and Innocent III. (1198-1216) added 
the front portico facing the Rostra. The exact position of the 
church appears from the following unpublished sketch by Martin 
Heemskerk (Fig. 107). The three fluted Corinthian columns in 
the foreground are those of the temple of Vespasian. According 
to Armellini {Chiese, p. 538) the bell-tower stood on the attic 
of the arch of Severus ; but he evidently mistakes it for another 
tower, having no connection with the church, which appears in du 
Perac's third vignette on the opposite corner of the arch. I have 

^ In his work Le Piante di Roma anteriori al secolo xvi., comm. de 
Rossi has written some admirable pages on the Milliarium Aureum and the 
" mensura totius orbis" which it represents (ch. iv. pp. 25-34). Consult also 
Canina, Luigi — Sul valore delV antico piede romano. Roma, 1853. Jordan, 
H. — Topographic, vol. i^, p. 244; :ii\d Ann. Inst, 1883, p. 57. Lanciani, 
R. — Bull, com., 1892, p. 95. 




discovered in the report of the sitting of the city council of 
September 9th, 1636, what was the end of this tower. This 
sitting agreed " that the 
tower on the arch of Sep- 
timius be pulled down, and 
its materials be given to 
the church of Santa Mar- 
tina, which is in course of 

Paul III. began demol- 
ishing the church of SS. 
Sergius and Bacchus on 
the advent of Charles V. 
( r 5 36). Some of its walls 
appear still in Dosio's 21st 
vignette, dating from i 569 ; 
the last traces of the apse 
disappeared in 18 12. 

Between the Rostra and 
the Sacra via stood a 
beautiful little building, the 
so-called Schola Xantha, 
or offices of the scribae 
librarii (book-keepers) and 
praecones (heralds) of the 

Aediles Curules. Its construction is attributed by Hcnzen to 
C. Avillius Licinius Trosius, a contemporary of Caracalla, and by 
Huelsen to A. Fabius Xanthus and Bebryx Drusianus, who lived 
in the first century. These personages are all mentioned in in- 
scriptions discovered on the spot in 1539. (See Corpus^ vi. 103.) 
From the words of these documents, and from the account of the 
excavations left by Marliano and Ligorio, we gather that the Schola 
Avas built of solid marble, and consisted of three rooms at least, 
with a portico in front facing the south ; and that Fabius Xanthus 
and his associates had decorated it with bronze seats, a statue of the 
Victory, seven silver statues of the gods, etc. The edifice and its 
inscriptions were destroyed, and the marbles turned into new 
shapes. I believe, without being able to prove it, that the Schola 
Xantha formed the west side of the Rostra, the office-room of the 
scribes being under its lofty platform. The pedestal of the statue 
of Stilicho {Corpus^ 1730)? which stood in rostris^ was discovered 
at the same time as the remains of the Schola. 



Literature. — Huelsen, Christian — // sito e le iscrizioni della Schola Xaniha, 
in Mittheilungen, 1888, p. 208. 

XLI. The Arch of Tiberius stood at the foot of the cHvus 
CapitoHnus, where the vicus Jugarius diverges from the Sacra via, 
between the north-west corner of the basiHca Juha and the MilH- 
arium. It was erected in 769/16 a.d. in memory of the recovery 
by Germanicus of the eagles and flags which had been lost with 
the legions of Varus in the battle of Teutoburg, 

The name of Germanicus, so dear to the Romans, must have 
saved the arch from destruction, after the death and the "memoriae 
damnatio " of Tiberius. According to Montiroli many fragments 
were discovered in 1848, with one or more pieces of the inscrip- 
tion, in which the Elbe and the Rhine were alluded to, and the 
recovery of the flags mentioned. These pieces now lie scattered 
all over the Forum. 

Literature. — Kellermann, Olaus — Btill. Inst., 1835, p. 36. Montiroli, 
Giovanni — II foro romajio. Roma, 1852. Mommsen, Th. — Res gestae divi 
Augusti, ed. 1883, p. 127. Jordan, H. — Ephemeris epigr. , 1887, p. 262. 

XLII. The Arch of Septimius Severus (Plan No. XXXIII.) 
was dedicated to him and to his sons Caracalla and Geta, A.D. 203, 
in recognition of the benefits they had conferred on the common- 
wealth by reforming the administration and extending the bound- 
aries of the Empire. After the murder of Geta, A.D. 212, his 
name was suppressed in the inscriptions on either face of the attic ; 
but the holes left on the marble by the clamps of the original 
bronze letters give us the means of reconstructing the original 
text : it contained the words (lin. 3) ^/ (lin. 4) Getae nobilissimo 
caesari, which were substituted by the acclamation optimis fortissi- 
fnisque prmcipibus, addressed to Severus and Caracalla alone. 

The arch has three passages connected by a transverse one. 
There are four columns of the composite order on each front, on 
the pedestals of which are carved groups of prisoners of war. (See 
Fig. 108.) On the spandrels of the side archways are figures of 
River Gods, on those of the middle passage Victories with trophies. 
The panels above the side arches are covered with bas-reliefs 
illustrating the campaigns of Severus in the East. The small door 
on the south side leads to a set of rooms in the attic, some of 
which have no light. 

The arch was erected on the edge of the platform ( Volkanal— 
area Co7iconUae\ which, being six or seven feet higher than the 
level of the Forum and of the Comitium, was accessible only by 



means of steps. The roughly paved road going through the 
central arch dates from the fall of the Empire. Among the 
materials of which it was built, Fea discovered in 1 803 a pedestal 
of an Imperial statue and pieces of a monumental column. No 
part of the Forum has been more frequently and more successfully 
excavated than the neighbourhood of this arch. On June 22nd, 
1480, the pedestal of the Genius of Roman armies was found 


" apud arcum." In August 1539 the pedestals of two statues of 
Stilicho were discovered; whilst in 1547-49 many pedestals were 
unearthed commemorating the peace restored to the world by the 
Flavian Emperors — the victory of the Emperor Julius Constantius 
over Magnentius, a.d. 353, the feats of Flavins Valerius Constan- 
tius Caesar, etc. ; in 1549 the pedestals of the equestrian statues 
of Arcadius and Honorius. In 1774 another pedestal of a statue 
of Diocletian was found ; and in 1803 another, dedicated a.d. 357, 
to Julius Constantius by Orfitus, prefect of the city — the latter 
being probably in commemoration of the raising of the great 




obelisk of the Circus maxinius (now in the Lateran). 
historical documents are marked Nos. 196-200, 234, 11 19, 
1158, 1161, 1162, 1174, 1187, 1203, 1204, 1205, 1730, 
in vol. vi. of the Corpus Inscriptioiiuni Latinariim. 

Nos. 197, 199, 234, 1 132, 1 174, 1204 have pe 
No. 1730 is to be found in the palazzo Capranica della 
No. 1731 in the villa Medici; Nos. 196, 198, 200 in the 
Nazionale at Naples. No. 11 58 was removed to the F 
gardens, and brought back in 1875, together with No. 
Fragments of No. 11 87 are dispersed all over the Forum. 


Valle ; 


1 1 19 is kept in the Vatican museum with No. 1161. No. 1162 
is broken in three pieces : the first is missing, the second is to be 
found in the Vatican, the third near the arch of Severus ! 

Many pages could be written on the history and on the fate of 
this noble monument in recent times. One incident shall answer 
for all. The arch, being the property of the S.P.Q.R., was 
put to ransom in this way. The two side passages were walled 
in at each end, and turned into shops. I have found in the city 
archives two leases, one dated May ist, 1721, by which one of the 
dens is rented to Bonaventura Rosa for four scudi and eighty 
baiocchi a year ; another dated January 30th, 175 i, by which both 
are given up to Battista Franchi for seven scudi and twenty 


baiocchi. The last occupant in 1803 was a fruiterer. This odd 
state of things is represented in the above original sketch by 
Gianni, made about 1800 (Fig. 109). 

Literature. — Suarez — Arcus L. Septimii Severi anaglypha. Romae, 1676. 
Guattani, Antonio — Ro7na antica, vol. i. p. 71. Corpus iiiscr., vol. vi. n. 1033. 

XLIII. The Carcer — Tullianum (S. Peter's prison), Plan 
No. XXXIV., is mentioned by Livy as having been built by Ancus 
Marcius in a place near and a little higher than the Forum : " carcer 
imminens foro." It contained an underground cell, formerly a cave 
named Tullianum, from a tullus or jet of water which sprang from 
the rock. It was used as a place of execution, and Sallust depicts 
it as a dark, filthy, and frightful den, 12 feet underground, walled 
in and covered with massive stone walls. The facade is very 
severe in style, and has an inscription commemorating the repairs 
to the prison, made at the time of Tiberius by C. Vibius Rufinus 
and M. Cocceius Nerva. (See Corpus Iitscr.^ vol. vi. n. 1539.) 
Nichols justly remarks that "the Carcer plays a part in Roman 
history like that of the Tower of London in English. The 
Tullianum was, if one may say so, a Secret Tower Hill. One of 
the first heroes of the long tale of miseries is Pleminius, who, being 
detained in prison for his excesses at Locri, was convicted of 
bribing men to set fire to the city, lowered into the Tullianum, and 
executed. The same fate befell Lentulus, Cethegus, and several 
other conspirators during the Catilinarian troubles. Cicero, who 
played such a leading part in them, speaks of the Carcer as having 
been ordained by the kings as the avenger of heinous and notorious 
crimes. The jail is also associated with the name of king 
Jugurtha, starved to death in the lower hole. The body of 
Seianus, the disgraced minister of Tiberius, was cast on the scalae 
Gemoniae (steps adjoining the prison), and also those of his inno- 
cent children, whose execution was marked by circumstances of 
frightful atrocity. Here also the headless trunk of Flavins 
Sabinus, brother of Vespasian, was thrown by the soldiers of 
ViteUius, and soon after Vitellius himself met his end on the same 
spot. The Carcer," Nichols concludes, "like the Tower, had 
also its literary reminiscences. Naevius is said to have written 
two of his plays while confined in prison for his attacks on the 
aristocracy." ^ 

^ On the connection of this historical monument with S. Peter consult Der 
mamertinische Kerker u. die romischen Traditionen vom Gefangnisse und den 
Ketten Petri, an excellent paper published by H. Grisar, S.J. , in the Zeitschrift 
fiir kath. Theologie, 1896, p. 102. 


The bibliography on the Career is given by CanceUieri — Notizie 
del Career e Tulliano. Roma, 1788, pp. 6, 7. 

XLIV. Aedes Concordiae ('O/Aovoerov, temple of Concord), 
Plan No. XXXV. — The approval of the Licinian laws in 367 
B.C. was a great event in the history of the Republic, because 
the alliance between patricians and plebeians, by restoring peace 
and tranquillity at home, allowed the Government to turn its atten- 
tion to foreign affairs. The laws, however, did not pass without 
a struggle. During a particularly violent fight in the Forum, 
Camillus promised to erect a temple to Concord as soon as 
peace should be restored ; and he kept his word in 367. The 
temple, a simple and graceful structure of stone, wood, and painted 
terra - cotta, was raised at the foot of the clivus Capitolinus, be- 
tween the temple of Saturn and the prison. In 121 B.C., after 
the death of C. Gracchus, the Senate commissioned L. Opimius 
with the reconstruction of the temple, to the great distress of 
the plebeians, who could not tolerate the idea that a monument 
representing a popular victory should be made to represent the 
triumph of aristocracy ; and so the original inscription was changed 
one night into the words : " Discord raises this temple to 
Concord." The edifice, scanty fragments of which have come 
down to us, dates from A.D. 10, when Tiberius reconstructed it for 
the second time, and dedicated it on January i6th under the title 
of Concordia Augusta. Designed and executed by the cleverest 
masters of the golden age, entirely built of white marble, profusely 
enriched with masterpieces of the Greek school, the temple of 
Concord was one of the finest monuments in the valley of the Forum 
and one of the richest museums of Rome. The cella contained one 
central and ten side niches, in which were placed the Apollo and 
Hera by Baton, Latona nursing Apollo and Diana by Euph- 
ranor ; Asklepios and Hygieia by Nikeratos ; Ares and Hermes 
by Piston ; and Zeus, Athena, and Demeter by Sthenics. Pliny 
speaks also of a picture by Theodoros representing Cassandra ; of 
another by Zeuxis which portrayed Marsyas bound to the tree ; of 
a third, Bacchus, by Nikias ; of four elephants cut in obsidian, a 
miracle of skill and labour ; and of a collection of precious stones. 
Among these was the sardonyx set in the legendary ring of Poly- 
krates of Samos, I may mention in the last place the statue of 
Hestia, which Tiberius had taken away almost by force from the 
inhabitants of Paros. 

Like that of Castor, the temple of Concord played an im- 


portant part in Roman political life, and was used very often by 
the Senate as a meeting-place on extraordinary occasions. Cicero 
delivered in it his fourth oration against Catiline, denouncing 
the conspiracy and the names of those concerned in it. Other 
meetings are recorded in Imperial times, under Severus, Alexander, 
and Probus. The open space in front of the temple, originally 
called Volkanal, and later on area Concordiae, is mentioned several 
times in connection with the " showers of blood.'' These were rain 
mixed with reddish sand from the deserts of Libya, a phenomenon 
by no means uncommon in Rome, for I have myself observed it 
on three occasions. 

The fate of the building after the barbaric invasions is not 
known. The Anonymus of Einsiedlen saw(?) it almost perfect in 
the eighth century, and copied the inscription of the pronaos, which 
alludes to the restoration made by the S.P.Q.R. after the fire of 
Carinus. (See Corpus Inscr.^ vol. vi. n. 89 and 938.) The Liber 
Pontificalis speaks of it as threatening to collapse at the time of 
Hadrian I. (772-795). When Poggio Bracciolini visited Rome the 
first time about 1405, the portico was still standing ; but he saw it 
himself soon after fall to the ground, and its beautiful marbles 
broken and thrown into the limekiln. 

The excavations of the site of the temple began on May 2nd, 
1817, The fragments of decorative marbles found within the 
cella are described by contemporary witnesses as "the most 
delicate, the most perfect productions of ancient art." These 
fragments are exhibited in the portico of the Tabularium, where 
dampness and saltpetre corrode their surface, and will soon reduce 
them to dust ; two bases of the side shrines are on the ground-floor 
of the museo Capitolino ; two capitals, with lambs in the place of 
volutes, are in the palazzo dei Conservatori. Nibby says that at 
the time of the discovery half the pavement was perfect ; but its 
slabs of africano, giallo, and pavonazzetto were since stolen one by 
one by stonecutters, and probably made into paper-weights and 
other such marketable articles. The threshold of the cella, one 
of the few pieces left on the spot, has the mark of the caduceus 
engraved near the left end. 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 89-94. Ulrichs — Codex topogr. , -p^. 
220, 238. Piale, Stefano — Degli antichi templi di Vcspasiano e della Con- 
cordia. Roma, (18 18) 1834. Fea, Cdixlo—Varieta di A'otizie, pp. 93-95. 

XLV. The Clivus Capitolinus (Plan No. XXXVI.) — The 
end of the Sacra via which ascended the eastern slope of the 





Capitoline hill in zigzags was called the clivus Capitolinus. Its pave- ^ 

ment has been laid bare in the lower tract before and between the 

temples of Vespasian, of Saturn, and the porticus deorum Consen- 
tium, as represented in the above illustration ; but its upper course 


is as yet a matter of speculation. It probably rounded the porticus 
Consentium and emerged on the area Capitolina, skirting the south 
side of the Tabularium, as marked in the plan No. XXXVI. 

At the foot of the pronaos of Saturn are the only existing 
remains of a Roman street pavement of classic times. They owe 
their preservation to the fact of having been covered by the steps of 
the temple in one of the later reconstructions. The reader hardly 
needs to be reminded that all the other pavements that go by 
the name of "ancient streets" are a patchwork of the fifth and 
sixth centuries after Christ. 

XLVI. Temple of Vespasian (Plan No. XXXVII., Figs. 
106 and I 10), erected under Domitian in memory of his deified 
f^ither (and brother). — There is no doubt that the three columns 
standing on a lofty platform between the temple of Concord and 
the porticus Consentium belong to this temple, because the 
dedicatory inscription, copied by the so-called Anonymus of Ein- 
siedlen when still intact, ends precisely with the eight letters 
ESTITVER which we see engraved in the existing fragment. 

divo ' uespasimio • angusto • s • p • q • r 
impp • caess • seueriis - ct • antojtiniis • pit • felic • augg • ;'ESTITVER 

Of this very elegant edifice only the platform, the altar, and the 
three corner columns of the pronaos are left standing. The frieze 
is decorated with the instruments of sacrifice — the " albogalerus," 
the " aspergillus," the " urceus," the knife, the "patera," the axe — 
in bold relief and in the purest style of art (Fig. 1 1 1). The cornice 
is remarkable for the tiny rings interposed to the dentels ; it is a 
characteristic of ornamental work of the time of Domitian, which 
occurs also in the cornices of the Flavian palace, of the forum 
Transitorium, of the Albanum, of the Serapaeum, of the horti 
Largiani — buildings erected or restored by the same Emperor. 

When the excavations of the clivus Capitolinus were begun in 
1 8 1 o, it was observed that the three columns had not only fallen 
out of the perpendicular by over two feet in the direction of the 
Forum, but that their foundations had been uprooted in the excava- 
tions of the cinquecento. The architects Valadier and Camporese, 
after measuring and designing the ruin stone by stone, took it 
down, rebuilt the foundations, and set it up straight again. The 
accumulation of rubbish, which reached nearly to the top of the 
shafts, was then removed, and the expectant public could see 
outlined against the sky those capitals and that frieze which, only 



a few months before, had been trodden by the feet of tourists. 

This clever operation is described in Tournon's t^tudes statistiques 
sur Ro77ie, vol. ii. p. 266, pi. 21. 


On the opposite side of the street stands a nearly perfect Ionic 
hexastyle portico, which topographers agree in attributing to the 

XLVII. Aedes Saturni (temple of Saturn), Plan No. 
XXXVIII., Fig. 1 10.— According to an old tradition, the Greek 
followers of Hercules had raised an altar to Saturn in the "jaws" 
or " at the foot " of the hill which bore his name (collis Saturnius), 
and which was inhabited, even before the Trojan war, by a colony 
of men called Saturnii. The tradition was founded on the fact 
that in much later times sacrifices were offered to the god in the 
Greek rite, the worshippers being allowed to keep their heads 
unveiled, A temple was substituted for the altar in 497 B.C., and 
dedicated on the day of the Saturnalia, December 17th. Lucius 
Munatius Plancus rebuilt it at the request of his friend Augustus 
in 42 B.C., the money being taken from the spoils of the Rhaetic 

The fire of Carinus must have damaged the structure, as shown 
CONSVMPTVM RESTITVIT engraved on the architrave of the 
pronaos, and by the patchwork style of the pronaos itself, which 
betrays an utter decadence of taste and a great poverty of 
means. The columns on the front are of grey granite, those at 
the sides of red, and made up of several pieces ; some of the 
bases are Attic, others Corinthian and without plinth. It has 
been asked why the name of the S.P.Q.R. should appear on 
the architrave of the temple instead of the name of an Emperor. 
The reason is evident : the temple was rebuilt in the fourth 
century, when Christianity had become, if not the religion of the 
State, certainly the personal religion of the Emperors ; and it would 
not have become a Christian Emperor to see his name associated 
with the restoration of heathen temples. I believe, moreover, that 
the restoration by the S.P.Q.R. was undertaken not from a religious 
point of view, but as a necessity of public administration, because 
the temple had been used, since the time of Valerius Publicola, as 
the civil treasury — Aerarium Saturni — as that of the temple of 
Concord was used for military purposes. The Aerarium Saturni 
was divided into two sections : one for current business, one as a 
reserve fund (Aerarium sanctius). Appeal was made to the latter 
in 211 during the second Punic war, and again in 49 B.C. on the 
approach of Julius Caesar to Rome. There were corresponding 
strong-rooms under the cella, but no attempt has ever been made 
to discover them. The Aerarium contained also the archives of 




the quaestors, in which, among other records, the sentences of 
death were deposited. 

A small square opened behind the temple, called area Saturni. 
It contained a celebrated altar, raised to Ops and Ceres on 
August loth, A.D. 7, while the peninsula was suffering from a 
famine of unprecedented severity. 

The lofty platform on which the temple stands was reached 
from the clivus Capitolinus by means of a long flight of stairs, 
designed in fragment iii. 22, 23 of the marble plan of Rome. 

Literature. — Mommsen, Theodor — Res gestae, 2nd ed. iv. 12, 13. 
Nichols, F. M. — The Roman Forum, p. 23. Jordan, H. — Ephemeris 
epigniphica, vol. iii. p. 55. Marucchi, Orazio — Le forum romani, p. 139. 
Th^denat, in Daremberg and Saglio's DicHonnaire, p. 1285. 


twelve gods). Plan No. XXXIX., Fig. 112. — At the highest point 
of the ascent, and under the south-east corner of the Tabularium, 




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there Is a line of cells built partly against the cliff, partly against 
the retaining wall of the clivus, the front of which is decorated 
with a portico of the Corinthian order. It was rebuilt in A.D. 367 
by Vettius Agorius Praetextatus, on the site of a much earlier 


shrine of the twelve deities, whose gilded images, six of gods and 
six of goddesses, are mentioned by Varro as existing in the Forum 
at a very remote age. The inscription on the architrave discovered 
in the excavations of 1834 and the remains of the colonnade were 
set up in 1853 by Canina. "Agorius Praetextatus is known as one 
of the most obstinate upholders of paganism, already dying out. 
He persecuted the Christians whenever he could do so without 
incurring the penalties of law ; restored the abandoned and half- 
ruined temples ; and when pope Damasus remonstrated with him 
for his cruel and illegal behaviour, answered—' Make me bishop 
of Rome and I shall at once become a good Christian.' " 

Remains of his gardens on the Esquiline were discovered 
in 1873-74 near the piazza Manfredo Fanti. The palace con- 
nected with the gardens had already been discovered in 1591 in 
the grounds of Federigo Cesi near the arch of Gallienus. It con- 
tained, like the gardens, a valuable set of works of art, among 
which was the statue of Coelia Concordia, a Vestalis maxima, so 
perfectly preserved that even the insignia of her order, of gilded 
metal, remained fastened around her neck. 

Literature. — Kellermann, Olaus, in Bull, hut., 1835, p. 34. Grifi, Luigi 
— Atti accad. pontif. archeol., vol. xiv. p. 118. Becker, Adolf — Topographic, 
p. 318. Lanciani, R. — Bull, com., 1874, p. 83 ; and Ancient Rome, p. 169. 
Corpus Inscr. , vol. vi. n. 102. 

XLIX. Tabularium (Plan No. XL.) — This is an immense and 
well-preserved building, on the slope of the Capitoline facing the 
Forum, destined for the safe-keeping of the deeds of public interest, 
among which were the decrees of the Senate from the earliest days 
of the Kings, the plebiscites, the treaties of peace and alliance, 
and so forth. Bunsen calls the Tabularium " le seul edifice grand 
qui nous reste de la Republique, le seul edifice d'Etat de la Rome 
ancienne " ; Emil Braun, likewise, " a grand edifice, one of the 
most considerable of the brightest epoch of the Republic . . . 
which deserves our fullest admiration " ; and yet it is one of the 
least visited monuments in Rome. 

The Tabularium is probably the work of Q. Lutatius Catulus, 
to whom the task of rebuilding the Capitol after the fire of 83 B.C. 
was entrusted by a decree of the Senate in 78 B.C. There are 
two inscriptions commemorating his work : one seen by Poggio 
Bracciolini about i 530, which expressly mentions SVBSTRVCTIONEM 
ET TABVLARIVM ; the Other discovered by Canina in 1845, which 
has been set into the wall of the Tabularium itself on the north side. 
This last contains only the general expression de sY.'tiahis SE^Ten/m 


FACIVNDV;;^ (tabularium ?) cocravit. (See Corpus hiscr.^ vol. i. p. 
170, n. 391, 392.) 

The area of the building corresponds almost exactly with that 
of the palazzo del Senatore, the official residence of the Roman 
municipal administration. The walls of the palace rest on the 
ancient ones on the north, east, and south sides, as any one can 
see ; but I have discovered a document which proves that 
the west side, viz. the facade of the palace towards the piazza 
del Campidoglio, is likewise built upon ancient foundations. In 
p. 88 of the Bodleian MSS. Pirro Ligorio asserts that a beautiful 
" basamento di sasso tiburtino di bella e vaga modanatura " runs 
under the pedestals of the two River Gods on either side of the 
fountain, and gives a good outline of it. He also tells the follow- 
ing remarkable story about the fate of the two River Gods. They 
had formed part of the mediaeval museum of statuary on the 
piazza di Montecavallo, which comprised the two colossal groups 
of Castor and Pollux, two statues of Constantine, one of Cybele, 
and the two reclining figures of the Nile and the Tigris, known by 
the name of Saturn and Bacchus. 1 When the River Gods were 
removed to the Capitol for the decoration of the palazzo del 
Senatore, an influential person (un malo consigliere) suggested 
that the Tigris should be transformed into a Tiber. The sug- 
gestion was adopted : the head of the tiger was changed into that 
of a wolf, and the two sucking infants were added to the group. 
Ligorio says that the fingers of the right hand of one of the twins 
were originally part of the hair of the tiger. 

Literature. — Azurri, Giovanni — Descrizione dell areata dorica dell' antico 
Tahulario. Roma, 1839. Beschj-eibung d. Stadt Rom, vol. iii. p. 40. Canina, 
Luigi — Monwnenti dell' Istituto, vol. v. pi. 31. Bunsen, Charles — Les 
forums, p. 286. Braun, Emil — Ruins and Museums, p. 14. Mommsen, 
Th. — Annal. Inst., 1858, p. 211 ; and Bull. Inst., 1845, p. 119. Jordan, 
H. — II tabulario Capitolino, in Annal. Inst., 1881, p. 60. 

The Tabularium comprises a substructure built of gabinian 
stone, an underground floor, which has long been used for a city 
jail, and an upper portico of the Doric order, with many halls, 
passages, corridors, and staircases, all in perfect preservation. 
The halls were used as stated above for State documents, engraved 
on bronze tablets, " tabulae aeneae," from which the building was 
named. Three thousand tablets, called by Suetonius " instru- 
mentum imperii pulcherrimum ac vetustissimum," perished in the 

1 See Michaelis — Le antichita delta cittd di Roma, descritte da Nicolao 
Mvffel, in Mittheil., 1888, p. 271, n. 23, 24. 



fire of Vitellius. Vespasian restored the set by means of duplicates 
kept in other archives. 

The Tabularium was accessible directly from the clivus Capito- 
linus and from the aerarium Saturni, by means of a staircase of 
sixty-seven steps, the preservation of which is truly wonderful. The 


entrance to it was blocked at the time of Domitian, in consequence 
of the erection of the temple of Vespasian, as shown by the above 
view (Fig. 1 13). 

Nibby asserts that the many fragments of columns and 
capitals of travertine (of the Corinthian order) discovered at the 
foot of the substructure, and now piled up in front of the portico 


of the Consentes, belong to a second or upper arcade of the 
Tabularium. His opinion is corroborated by documents of the 
time of Anacletus II. and Innocent III., which mention two 
Cainellariae^ the lower and the upper, Camellaria being then the 
denomination of the Tabularium ; and by Poggio Bracciolini, 
who saw in \\. forjiices dtiplici ordine^ a double tier of arcades. 

L, Capitolium (temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus), Plan No. 
XLI. — This national sanctuary of ancient Rome, designed by 
the elder Tarquin and built by his son Superbus, was dedicated 
by M. Horatius Pulvillus, consul, on September 13th, 509 B.C. 
Writers describe it as raised on a platform 61-62 metres long 
and 57-17 wide, in the middle of a sacred area, which was 
bounded on three sides by precipitous cliffs. There were three 
rows of columns on the front of the temple, but none at the 
back ; the style of architecture was pure Etruscan, low and 
heavy, with intercolumniation so wide (areostyle) as to require 
the use of wooden architraves. The cella was divided into 
three compartments, the middle one sacred to Jupiter, the one 
on the left to Juno Regina, the one on the right to Minerva. 
The pediment was crowned by a quadriga of terra-cotta, in the 
manner of an acroterium ; and the statue of the Father of the 
gods was of the same material. It was the work of Turianus of 
Fregenae, who had painted the face of the god in vermilion, and 
dressed his body with the tunica palmata and the toga picta. 
Considering that the wooden architraves must have been covered 
likewise with panels of painted terra-cotta, the roof lined with 
antefixae, etc., we may assume that the old Capitolium did not 
differ from the contemporary temples of southern Etruria — a 
splendid specimen of which, discovered at Faleria, is now exhibited 
in the villa Giulia outside the porta del Popolo. 

In 386 B.C. the rugged and uneven surface of the hill around 
the temple was made level by means of gigantic substructures, 
which rose from the level of the plain to that of the temple itself 
— a work called " insane " by Pliny, and classed by Livy among the 
wonders of Rome. The Capitolium was only accessible from the 
side of the clivus by means of stately stairs, a kind of " scala 
santa," which Caesar and Claudius ascended on their knees. 

On July 6th, 83 B.C., a malefactor, whose name was never 
discovered, set the building ablaze. Sulla undertook its re- 
construction, for which purpose he laid his hands on some of the 
columns of the temple of Jupiter the Olympian at Athens. Sulla's 


work was continued by Lutatius Catulus (the builder of the 
Tabularium), and finished by JuHus Caesar in 46. A second 
restoration took place in the year 9 B.C. under Augustus, a 
third in A.D. 74 under Vespasian, and the last in the year 82 
under Domitian. Domitian's temple was of the same length and 
width as its predecessors, but higher and more svelte. It had 
Corinthian columns of pentelic marble. 

For many generations topographers have discussed which of 
the two summits of the Capitoline hill was occupied by the temple, 
which by the citadel. A discovery made on November 7th, 1875, 
gave me the first clue to the solution of the difficulty. While 
building the foundations of the new rotunda in the garden of the 
palazzo dei Conservatori (where the works of art dug up on the 
Esquiline are now exhibited), we discovered the edge of the 
platform built by the Tarquins, and upon it a fragment of one of 
the columns of pentelic marble pertaining to the last restoration 
of Domitian. Such a find, taken by itself, would not have been 
conclusive ; but compared with others made in the course of the 
last four centuries, it proves beyond doubt that the Capitolium 
stood on the summit of monte Caprino, and consequently that the 
Arx and the Tarpeian rock must be placed on the Aracoeli side. 

First as to the " insanae substructiones " which supported the 
sacred area. They have been seen and described by Flaminio 
Vacca on the side of the piazza della Consolazione, by Sante 
Bartoli on the side of the piazza Montanara, by Ficoroni on the 
side of the via di Torre de' Speechi, their thickness exceeding 5 
metres. The travertine facing of these walls was covered with 
inscriptions and dedications in honour of the great Roman god by 
the kings and the nations of the world. One cannot read these 
historical documents, these messages of friendship and gratitude 
from the remotest corners of the earth, without acquiring a new 
sense of the magnitude and power of Rome.^ These dedications 
are found only on the side of the monte Caprino. 

The platform of the Tarquins, built of small greyish blocks cf 
tufa lamellare, without cement, exists still in tolerable preservation 
under the garden and palace (Cafifarelli) of the German Embassy. 
A sketch in Fabretti's De Cohimiia traiana shows that when the 
Caffarellis enlarged their palace on the monte Caprino, about 
1680, fourteen tiers of stone at least were removed. The follow- 

^ See Bulletti?io comun. , 1886, p. 403; 1887, pp. 14, 124, 251 ; 1888, p. 
138; 1890, p. 57. Mommsen — Zeitschrift fur Nuniismatik, xv. p. 207. 
Corpus Inscr., vol. i. p. 169. 




ing photogravure shows the only portion now left visible of this 
great platform (Fig. 1 14). It lies under the partition-wall between 
the Caffarelli garden and that of the palazzo dei Conservatori. 

Borings made all over the monte Caprino in 1876 by Jordan 
and Schupmann have enabled us to trace three out of four sides 
of the parallelogram, as well as the size and direction of one of 
the favissae. 

The temple rebuilt by Domitian was plundered in June 455 by 


GAKDiiiN Ut 

the Vandals of Genseric, who carried off the statues to adorn his 
African residence. From that time the temple, stripped of its 
roof of gilt bronze tiles, fell into ruins and became, like so many 
others, a stone quarry and a limekiln. In January 1545 Giovan 
Pietro Caffarelli discovered the first relics in the garden behind 
the palazzo dei Conservatori. Some of the pieces were sketched 
and measured by Antonio da Sangallo the younger, and the whole 
find is described as follows by Flaminio Vacca : " Upon the 
Tarpeian rock (monte Caprino) several pillars of pentelic marble 
were found, with capitals of such size that I was able to carve out 


of one of them the great lion now in the garden of grand-duke 
Ferdinand of Tuscany by the Trinita de' Monti (villa Medici). 
The rest of the marbles were used by Vincenzo de Rossi to carve 
the Prophets and other statues of the chapel of cardinal Federico 
Cesi at S. Maria della Pace. . . . No fragments of the entablature 
were found, but as the building was so close to the edge of the 
precipice, I fancy they must have fallen into the plain below," 
The surmise was proved correct by subsequent discoveries. In 
1780 great pieces of cornice and frieze, ornamented with bucranii 
and festoons, were dug up from the foundations of the house 
No. 13 via Montanara at the foot of the rock; other fragments 
in May 1875, under the house No. 33 via della Consolazione. 
The dedications by foreign kings and nations, mentioned above, 
have also rolled down the hill towards the piazza della Consolazione, 
where they were discovered in 1887 under the casa Moroni. 
Another piece of a fluted column of pentelic marble was discovered 
on January 24th, 1 889, on the slope towards the Tullianum (S. Pietro 
in Carcere), where it had been dragged and abandoned by a 
cinquecento stonecutter, 

A careful examination made in 1875 by the late padre Luigi 
Bruzza proves that the statues of the cappella Cesi are really 
sculptured in pentelic, and so is Flaminio Vacca's lion, in the 
villa Medici. The piece of column discovered November 1875 is 
to be seen in the small garden of the palazzo dei Conservatori ; 
the one discovered in January 1889 in the via di S, Pietro in 
Carcere has been buried over in the same place. The platform 
of the temple discovered in 1865 in the garden of the German 
Embassy (Caffarelli) was buried in 1880 by baron von Keudell. 
The dedicatory inscriptions found in the piazza della Con- 
solazione, instead of being replaced on the Capitol, to which they 
were offered by the discoverer, have found their way to the museo 
delle Terme ; those found in the sixteenth century {Corpus Inscr. 
Lat.^ vol. i. p. 169, n. 589) have perished. 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr., vol. i. p, 170; and vol, vi. n. 372-374. 
Rycq — De Capitolio romano. Leyclen, 1669. Bunsen — Besc/ireibung d. 
Stadt Rom, vol, iii^-, p. 14. Hirt — Der capitolbiische Jupiter tempel, in 
Abhandl. d. Berliner Akademie, 1813. Bureau de la Malle — Mevtoire sur la 
position de la roche tarpeienne, in M6m. Acad^niie Inscriptions, 18 19. 
Lanciani, R. — II tempi di Giove ottimo massimo, in Bull, com., 1875, p. 165, 
pis. 16-18 ; and Paga?i and Christian Rome, p. 84. Rosa, Pietro — 
Annali Institute, 1865, p. 382. Jordan, H. — Osservazioni sul tempio di 
Giove Capitolino, in Annali Instit., 1876, p. 145 ; and Topographie, vol. \^, 
p. 67. Gori, Fabio — Archivio storico letterario della citta e provincia di Roma, 


vol. i. 1875, PP- 285-334. Huelsen, Christian — Osscrvazioni sulV architettura 
del tempio di Giove Capitolino, in Mittheilungen, 1888, p. 150, pi. 5. 
Audollent — Dessei/i iiiidit d'u?i fronton dii temple de Inpiter Capiiolin, in 
Melanges de I'Ecole franfaise de Rome, 1889, p. 120, planche 2. 

LI. Forum Julium. — In spite of the construction of so many 
temples and basilicae on the borders of the Forum, by which the 
space accessible to the public had been more than doubled, the 
Forum itself, dating from the early days of the city, had become 
absolutely insufficient for the wants of a population which was fast 
approaching a million. The first step towards the improvement of 
this state of things was taken by Julius Caesar in 54 B.C. He 
seems to have planned the creation of a new forum while absent 
from Italy — stimulated perhaps by the example of L. Aemilius 
Paullus, who had purchased the site of his basilica (Aemilia) at a 
cost of 1500 talents, or 12,000,000 lire. Equally large was the 
sum spent by Caesar in securing a space for his "extension." 
At the date of Cicero's letter (iv. 16) to Atticus some 60,000,000 
sesterces had already been expended. The total cost of ground, 
without including the new buildings, is said to have exceeded 
100,000,000 sesterces, or about 20,000,000 lire — a sum obviously 
exaggerated, and which has been reduced by careful calculations 
to 1,343,750 lire (about 168 lire the square metre). The forum 
Julium took the shape of a sacred enclosure around the temple 
dedicated by the dictator 45 B.C. to Venus Genetrix, the goddess 
from whom he professed to be descended. Her statue was a master- 
piece by Arkesilaos, and a masterpiece also was the statue of the 
famous charger, which had been foaled in the mews of the Julian 
house, and whose forefeet were nearly human, the hoofs being 
split, as it were, into toes. Appianus speaks of a statue of 
Cleopatra by the side of that of the goddess ; Ovid of a fountain 
adorned with figures of nymphs called Appiades ; and Pliny of 
famous paintings by Greek artists, of six collections of engraved 
gems, and of a breastplate for the goddess covered with British 

The beautiful temple was discovered at the time of Palladio 
in the foundations of a house at the corner of the present streets 
Cremona and Marmorelle. He describes the structure as built of 
blocks of marble " lavorati eccellentemente." The cornice was 
adorned with symbols of the sea — dolphins, tridents, etc. ; the 
temple itself was hexastyle, peripteral, and pycnostyle. This last 
particular is expressly mentioned by Vitruvius (iii. 3), and Palladio 
confesses " di non hauer veduto intercolunnii cosi piccioli in alcun 


altro edificio antico " — to have never seen such small intercolumnia- 
tion in any other ancient edifice. The temple is now completely 
hidden from view : the only remains visible, in an alley via del 
(jhettarello No. i8, pertain to the tabernae, or shops which lined 
the Forum on the (south-) 
west side. They have been 
excavated twice at least : 
first about the end of the 
fifteenth century, when fra 
(liocondo da Verona made 
a design of them {Ufizi^ n. 
1537), and again by Parker 
in 1866. These important 
remains were called forum 
Martis, Martis forum, Mar- 
forio^ in the Middle Ages. 
The statue of the River 
God, known as the facetious 
partner of Pasquino, was 
discovered at the foot of 
the street which bears his 
name, together with the 
granite basin into which 
the water fell from the god's 
urn. The statue was re- 
moved to the Capitol by 
Sixtus v., and placed by 
Clement XII., in 1734, in 
the court of the Capitoline 
museum, above the foun- 
tain. The basin was re- 
moved first to the campo 
Vaccino, by S. Maria Liber- 
atrice, in 1594, and again 
to the piazza del Quirinale 
in 1 8 1 8. The place where 
both were discovered is 
marked by a tablet (written 
by Bartolomeo Marliano) 
above the door No. 49 via di Marforio. 

There are several copies of the Venus Genetrix of Arkesilaos. 
The goddess appears clad in a thin semi - transparent chiton. 

FIG. 115. — -rillC Vl'-.NL'S (.liN) ! I i\ 1\ ..ICKESILAOS 



through which the form of the young and lovely body can be 
clearly seen, the left breast being left bare. There is a replica in 
the Borghese museum (Helbig, Guide, vol. ii, p. 141, n, 915); 
another in the museo delle Terme, reproduced in Fig. 1 1 5 
{ibid. p. 213, n. 1027) ; a third in the Louvre (Froehner, Sculpture 
antique, vol. i. p. 166, n. 135) ; etc. Consult : Jahn, Otto — Leip- 
ziger Monatsberichte, 1861, p. 114; and Wissowa — De Ve?ieris 
Simulacris roma?i7S. Wratislaw, 1882. 

Literature. — Palladio, Andrea — Architettura, ed. 1570, lib. iv. c. 31. 
Vacca, Flaminio — Mem. 69 in Fea's Miscell. vol. i. p. Ixxxiii. Cancellieri, 
Francesco — Notizie delle statue dette di Atai-foi'io e di Pasqiiino. Roma, 1789. 
Cavalieri, Gio. Batt. — Antiqiiar. statuar. Roma, 1585, pi. 94. Bunsen, 
Charles — Bull. Inst., 1836, p. 55. Canina, Luigi — Fojv Ro?nano, 94; and 
Edijizii, vol. ii. pis. xcii. -xcv. Nichols, F. M. — The Ro7nan Forum, p. 251. 
Forma Urbis Roviae, pi. xx. 

LII. Forum Augustum (Plan, Fig. 116). — Augustus fol- 
lowed the example of Caesar and built a third and more magnificent 
forum in continuation of the two existing ones. Its remains, known 
by the name of "Arco dei Pantani," rank among the finest of ancient 
Rome. The most remarkable feature of the place is a wall of 
blocks of peperino, raised to a great height to screen the view of the 
mean houses clustered on the slope of the Quirinal, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the present via Baccina and salita del Grillo. The 
wall is pierced by an original archway, the Arco dei Pantani just 
named, through which the modern traffic passes at a considerably 
higher level than the original street which led to the Subura. 
Against it stand the remains of the beautiful temple of Mars Ultor, 
one of the few which have come down to us from the Augustan 
age without restorations. They consist of three fluted Corinthian 
columns, of part of the right wall of the cella, and of the roof of 
the vestibule. They stand on a substructure excavated in 1842, 
when the inscription Corpils, n. 2158, was found, relating to the 
solemn procession which the Salii Palatini made every year on 
March ist (and for several days following), chanting the " axa- 
menta " or " saliaria carmina " and dancing sacred war-dances — 
whence the name of Safii. The inscription had already been seen 
and copied at the time of Sixtus IV. in 1477, and had been used, 
later on, in the restorations of the church of S. Basilio of the Priory of 
Malta, which occupied the southern hemicycle of the forum. Mars 
(Gradivus) being the god presiding over the College of the Salii, 
its temple was selected by them as the last halting-place (mansio) 
after their exhausting progress through the city. The splendour 



of the banquet which terminated the celebration is praised both 
by Cicero and Horace, and indeed the phrases " saliares dapes " 
and " epulari saHarem in modum " seem to have passed into a 

ll'alkerGr Boutallsc. 


proverb. Suetonius relates that while the Emperor Claudius was 
sitting one day on the throne delivering judgment in this forum, 
his nostrils were struck by the appetising odour of the repast pre- 



pared for the Salii. Adjourning, therefore, the case which was 
being argued before him, he rushed into the temple and sat down 
among the banqueting priests. 

The irregular form of the wall at the back of the temple 
and of the forum is accounted for by the circumstance that 
Augustus was unable to obtain a symmetrical area, as the owners 
of the nearest houses could not be induced to part with their 
property, Flaminio Vacca says that a piece of the wall having 
been demolished, towards the end of the sixteenth century, it was 
found out that the blocks of peperino were fastened to each other 
by means of wooden clamps shaped like a swallow's tail, and that 
nobody could ascertain what kind of wood they were cut out of 
(probably box-wood). Pliny praises the temple of Mars Ultor as 
one of the most beautiful and perfect works of man ever seen on 
earth, and places it on the same level with the forum and temple 
of Peace, and with the basilica Aemilia. The great pieces of 
timber used in the roof had been cut in the Rhaetian Alps in the 
dog-days, a precaution which was considered to make wood in- 
destructible. Pliny also mentions among its treasures vases of 
chiselled iron, a statue of Apollo cut in ivory, two large pictures 
representing a battle and a triumph, and four noble works of Apelles, 
one of which, representing the victory of Alexander the great, 
was altered in the time of Claudius by substituting the like- 
ness of Augustus for that of the Macedonian king. The temple 
contained also a set of standard weights and measures, and safes 
and strong boxes, where large sums belonging to private citizens 
were kept under the guarantee of the priests. A daring robbery 
perpetrated towards the end of the first century, when even the 
precious helmet was wrenched from the head of Mars Ultor, 
frightened the depositors so that the priests gave up banking, at 
least for the time. 

The main point of interest of this forum was the gallery of 
statues, raised by Augustus to the generals who by their exploits 
and victories had extended the boundaries of the Roman Empire. 
The rules formulated by Augustus for the giving of so great a distinc- 
tion were very strict, but his successors soon relaxed their severity, 
and statues were offered right and left, just like the equestrian orders 
nowadays. L. Silanus, although a minor, was given a statue 
after his betrothal to Octavia, daughter of Claudius. Another was 
raised in honour of Q. Curtius Rufus, legate of Germany, for 
having opened a silver mine (near Nassau on the right bank of 
the Rhine) which brought little profit to the Treasury, but caused 




great toil and hardship to the soldiers. Nero, after the conspiracy 
of the Pisones was revealed to him, convened the Senate, and 


obtained the " ornamenta triumphalia " for those who had turned 
informers. Pliny the younger reproaches Domitian for having 
given statues to men who had never been in action, nor even in 


camp, and who had never heard the sound of a trumpet except 
from the stage. 

The forum of Augustus lost its privilege of being the national 
protomotheca with the construction of that of Trajan. The 
honours Avere then divided between the two places, as shown by 
the inscription of M. Bassaeus Rufus {Corpus^ n. 1599). 

Many important discoveries illustrating this point were made 
in 1888-89, when the municipality of Rome, at my suggestion, 
pulled down the houses and factories which concealed the southern 
hemicycle and laid bare its boundary-wall and the niches once 
occupied by the statues of the Roman heroes. I have described 
the results of these great excavations in the Bull. arch, coin.^ 1889, 
pp. 26 and 'J'}) (compare 1889, p. 481 ; and 1890, p. 251). 

Besides fragments of statues in mihtary attire, columns of giallo 
antico, capitals, friezes of exquisite workmanship, we brought to 
light the base of a donarium, for which one hundred pounds of 
gold had been used, offered to Augustus by the Spanish province 
of Baetica ; a pedestal of a statue dedicated to Nigrinianus, nephew 
of the Emperor Carus, by a financier named Geminius Festus ; 
and inscriptions — in a more or less fragmentary state — which 
accompanied the statues of some victorious generals, giving a short 
account of their exploits. The editors of the first volume, second 
edition, of the Corpus Inscript} attribute to Prof. Bormann the merit 
of having made known the fact that these eulogistic biographies, 
dictated by Augustus, are divided into two parts : one giving the 
name in the first case, like — 

M • AIMILIVS • Q • F • L • N 

engraved on the plinth of the statue ; the other giving the account 
of his career, being engraved on a marble tablet placed below the 
niche. I had myself pointed out this important circumstance so 
far back as February 1889 (see Bull, corn.., pp. 73, "j"]^-^ and I 
was able to prove thus that many eulogies of illustrious men — the 
place of discovery of which was not known — belonged to the 
forum of Augustus. 

The eulogies, or fragments of eulogies, found in 1888-89 are 
now preserved in the museo Municipale al Celio. They belong to 

1 I iiscriptiones latinae antiquissiviae, editio altera, pars prior, Berlin, 
Reimer, mdcccxciii, p. 187, col. a. 


Appius Claudius Caecus, the builder of the via Appia ; to C. 
Duillius, who destroyed the Punic fleet on the coast of Sicily ; to 
Q. Fabius Maximus, dictator ; to L. Cornelius Scipio, who led a 
successful war against king Antiochus in 190 B.C. ; to O. Caecilius 
Metellus Numidicus ; to L. Cornelius Sulla Felix, dictator ; etc. 

The area of the forum of Augustus is covered by a double bed 
of ruins. The lower one, 275 metres high, formed the bottom of 
the marsh or pond called // Pa7itano^ where, for want of a proper 
outlet, the rain-water from the slopes of the Quirinal and the valley 
of the Subura collected in the Middle Ages. The upper one, 3-25 
metres thick, dates from the year 1570, when Pius V. and the 
Commissioner of streets, Prospero Boccapaduli, drained the marsh, 
found an outlet for the waters, and raised the city to the present 
level. Needless to say, works of art and objects of archaeological 
value are found only in the lower strata. Marchese Alessandro 
Guiccioli, syndic of Rome, at the time of the excavations of 1888-89 
had formed the project of laying bare the whole extent of the 
forum ; and certainly no greater benefit could have been conferred 
on students of ancient Rome, and no greater addition secured 
to the archaeological wealth of our city than by the liberation of 
these ruins from the ignoble superstructures which hide them from 
view. An exchange of property between the municipality and the 
Ospizio dei Convertendi, which owns the place, had already been 
agreed upon, when the financial crisis of 1889 occurred, and 
stopped the progress of our work. 

Literature. — Mommsen, Theodor — Res Gestae divi Augusti, iv. 21-26, p. 
126, 2nd edit. Corptis Inscr., vol. vi. 1386; and Inscr. lat. antiquiss., 2nd 
edit. Berlin, Reiraer, 1893, p. 186. Borsari, Luigi — II foro di Augusto e il 
tempio di Marte Ultore, Accad. Lincei, 3 serie, vol. xiii. 1883-84, p. 406. 
Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull, com., 1889, pp. 26 and ^■^. Gatti, Giuseppe— 
Ibid. 1889, p. 481 ; and 1890, p. 251, pi. 14. Huelsen, Christian— 
Mittheilungen, vol. v. 1890, pp. 247, 305 ; and vol. vi. 1891, p. 94. 
Th^denat, in Daremberg and Saglio's Diciionnaire, p. 131 1. 

LI 1 1. Forum Transitorium. — This forum, commenced by 
Domitian and finished by Nerva, was called trajisitorium ox pe^-vium 
because the great thoroughfare of the Argiletum passed through 
it ; and also f. Nervae from the founder, f. Miitervae or f. 
Palladium from the goddess to whom it was dedicated. It was a 
long narrow enclosure, 1 17 metres by 39, more like a handsomely 
decorated street than a square. The enclosure -walls, built of 
peperino and coated with marble, were lined with fluted columns 
supporting a richly-carved entablature, of which one intercolumnia- 


tion alone remains, known by the name of Le Colonnacce (corner 
of via Alessandrina and via della Croce bianca). Four hundred 
years ago it could still be measured in its entirety by Antonio da 
Sangallo the younger, Baldassarre and Sallustio Peruzzi, and others, 
whose drawings I have published in the Atti d. r. Accad. d. Lincei, 
vol. xi. 1883. The destruction was not accomplished at once, but 
was the work of many generations, the monks of S. Adriano being 
foremost in the campaign against the edifice. I have found mention 
more than once, in deeds of the fourteenth century, of a great lime- 
kiln estabhshed near their church under the name of " calcaria 
ecclesiae sancti Hadriani." In November 1520a gang of " fossores 
lapidum " ^ opened a trench at the foot of one of the archways 
of the forum, known by the name of Arcus Noe, or Arcanoe (the 
arch of Noah), and began to undermine the wall of peperino. 
Francesco di Branca, one of the city magistrates, caused a 
member of the gang to be arrested ; but cardinal Scaramuccia 
Trivulzio, in whose interests perhaps he was working, obtained his 
prompt release from Leo X. The "vignettes" of the sixteenth 
century, of Dosio, du Perac, Koch, Gamucci, etc., represent this 
arch of Noah and the adjoining temple of Minerva in a good state 
of preservation. The ruins were so striking and picturesque that 
many artists have selected them as a background to their com- 
positions. The following sketch (Fig. 118) of Boscolo in Laing's 
collection. Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, represents the 
meeting of some holy men before the temple of Minerva ; the arch 
of Noah appears on the right, and above it the church and belfry 
of SS. Stefano and Lorenzo (now SS. Quirico e Giolitta). 

The destruction of the arch and of the temple is commonly 
attributed to pope Paul V., Borghese ; but Clement VI IL, Aldo- 
brandini, had already laid hands on them. Giacomo Grimaldi 
says that while walking one day through the Lungara with 
Giacomo della Porta, they saw a great block of Parian marble 
being removed from this temple to S. Peter's. The block, belong- 
ing to the architrave, measured 11 '5 5 cubic metres, or about 346 
cubic feet. Clement VIII. made use of it for the high altar of 
S. Peter's, which he inaugurated on June 26th, 1594. The rest of 
the temple disappeared in 1606. The columns and the frieze were 
cut in slabs, and made use of for the decoration of the fountain of 
the acqua Paola on the Janiculum. The blocks of stone belong- 
ing to the cella and to the enclosure-wall of the forum were given 
by Paul V. to the prior and monks of S. Adriano. The platform 
1 Contractors for the supply of building materials. 



of the temple still exists, although hidden from view ; the house at 
the corner of the via Alessandrina, which faces the Colonnacce on 
one side and the church of S. Agata on the other, is built upon it. 
Another house, No. 38 via della Croce bianca, may be truly said 
to rest on a bed of marble. I saw its foundations sunk, in October 
1882, through a mass of broken columns, capitals, friezes, and 
pedestals. The pavement of the forum lies here at the depth of 
5*50 metres. 

Like the forum Augustum and the forum Traiani, this one had 

.»,„,, .oU..r^» Eoi.^U.,1. 


also its own gallery of portrait statues. Its institution dates 
from the time of Severus Alexander ; compare Vita Alex., 
28 : " Colossal statues, single or equestrian, were raised by him in 
Nerva's forum to deified Emperors or Empresses." Two specimens 
have come down to us : the first was discovered in the first 
quarter of the sixteenth century byAngelo de Massimi, and removed, 
first to the family palace in the via Papale, and later on to the 
Capitoline museum (ground-floor, corridor No. 19). The name of 
king Pyrrhus attributed to it is manifestly erroneous ; at the same 
time we cannot agree with Helbig in identifying it with Mars, 
on account of the evidence of the biographer, who speaks not of 


gods but of deified Roman Emperors. The fragments of a second 
colossal (female) figure, resembling to a certain degree the Thus- 
nelda in the loggia de' Lanzi, Florence, were discovered by 
VitaH in 1882. 

Literature. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — L aula e gli uffici del Senato Romano, in 
Mem. Accad. Lincei, 1883, p. 23. Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide, vol. i. p. 295, 
n. 405. Bliimner, H. — Antial. Inst, 1877, p. 5; and Moiumcnti, vol. x. 
pi. II. Petersen, Eugene — Mittheilungeti, vol. iv. 1889, p. 88. Th^denat, 
in Daremberg and Saglio's DictioJinaire, p. 1314. Jordan — Forma, p. 27. 

LIV. Forum Traiani (forum of Trajan, Plan, Fig. 119). — 
We must now enter the last and most magnificent of Roman fora, 
built by Trajan between a.d. 112 and 114 from the designs of 
Apollodorus of Damascus. It was not only a masterpiece of 
architecture, but also, if we recollect the difficulties its builders 
had to contend with to find a suitable space for it, a chef-(V (siivre 
of engineering skill. 

The Capitoline, located in the heart of the city, was not an 
isolated hill, as it is at present : the tide of traffic between the 
northern and southern quarters could not round it on either side 
as is now the case. The Capitoline was a spur of the Quirinal, 
advancing towards the river to within a few hundred feet from its 
left bank. The obstruction could be overcome in one of two 
ways : by crossing the ridge connecting the two hills by the clivus 
Argentarius, corresponding to our via di Marforio, only 5 metres 
wide with a gradient of i o per cent ; or else by rounding the rock 
on the river-side. The passage was certainly easy and level on 
the river-side, but three times as long as the cut through the ridge, 
and obviously insufficient for the traffic of a city inhabited by a 
million people. To obviate this evil, to relieve the strip of land 
west of the Capitoline from the pressure of traffic, and to double 
at the same time the extent of the five existing fora (Romanum, 
lulium, Augustum, Pacis, andTransitorium), Trajan and Apollodorus 
conceived the plan of severing the Capitoline from the Quirinal, 
and of substituting for the narrow and steep gully of the clivus 
Argentarius a level space 185 metres wide. Private property on 
each slope and on the top of the ridge was accordingly bought 
and destroyed to the extent of over 40,000 square metres, and 
the ridge was cut, excavated, and bodily carted away. So great 
was the astonishment created by the great work that the well- 
known column was erected at the public cost, " ad declarandum 
quantae altitudinis mons et locus sit egestus " {Corpus Inscr.^ vi. 
n. 960) — " to show to posterity how high rose the mountain levelled 



to make room for the forum." The pillar, statue included, is 42 
metres high. The 700,000 or 800,000 cubic metres of earth 

FIG. 119. 

and rock were carted away outside the porta Collina, and spread 
over the cemetery between the via Salaria nova and vetus. 
(See Pagan attd ChrisHa7i Rome^ p. 284.) 


Trajan's forum comprised seven parts : the propylaia with the 
triumphal arch of the founder, the square itself with the equestrian 
statue in the middle, the basilica Ulpia, the bibhotheca Ulpia, 
two hemicycles, the monumental column, and the temple of 

The triumphal arch which formed the entrance to the forum 
was demolished, or at least greatly injured, by the Commissioners 
of streets in March 1526. The case was inquired into by 
Francesco Cenci, the chief magistrate of the city, who made a 
report to the town-council on March 26th, but no redress seems to 
have been obtained. In the latter part of the sixteenth century 
(about 1570) other remains were dug up near the church of S. 
IVIaria in campo Carleo. Flaminio Vacca describes them as 
" vestigie di un' arco trionfale con molti pezzi di istorie," viz. with 
fragments of bas-reliefs which represented Trajan fording a river 
on horseback, king Decebalus bound in chains, the seizing of the 
enemy's cattle, etc. The last discoveries took place in 1863, 
when the church of S. Maria in campo Carleo was demolished to 
widen the roadway at the entrance of the via Alessandrina. The 
arch, erected, or at least voted, by the S.P.Q.R. in a.d. i 17, a few 
months before Trajan's death, is represented with minute details 
in the medal ap. Cohen, Monnaies imp. Trajan^ n. 167. 

Literature. — Dion Cassius, Ixviii. 29. Codex vatic, 3439, f. 84. Codex 
Berolin., f. 36. Vacca, Flaminio — Mem. 9 in Fea's Miscellanea, vol. i. 
Pellegrini , Angelo — Bull. Inst. , 1883, p. 78. Adinolfi, Pasquale — Roma nelVetd 
di mezzo, vol. i. p. 54. 

The forum, 95 metres long, 116 wide, was surrounded by a 
double colonnade on three sides, the fourth side, opposite the 
propylaia, being occupied by the basilica. The porticoes were 
crowded with statues of eminent men, with an account of their 
careers engraved on the pedestals. Many of these valuable 
historical documents have already been discovered ;i they belong 
mostly to the fourth century after Christ. The enclosure-wall of 
the forum was built of blocks of peperino lined with marble, 
like those of the f Augustum and Transitorium. No trace 
of it appears now above ground, but we have a careful descrip- 
tion of it in a deed of 1263 quoted by Adinolfi in vol. ii. of 
Roma neW eta di mezzo, p. 54. It was called the "murus 
marmoreus," and crossed the whole extent of the campo Carleo 
from the Capitoline to the Quirinal hill. The equestrian statue of 

^ Corpus Ifiscr., 1141, 1679, 1683, 1710, 1715, 1721, 1724, 1725, 1727, 
1729, 1736, 1749, 1764, 1783. 


the Emperor rose in the centre of the square. Ammianus 
Marcellinus (xvi. 10) describes the impressions felt by the 
Emperor Constantius at the first sight of the group. " Having 
now entered the forum Trajanum, the most marvellous creatio?i 
of human genius^ he was struck with wonder, and looked round in 
amazement at the great structures which no pen can describe, and 
which mankind can create and see but once in the course of 
centuries. . . . Then he turned his attention to the equestrian 
statue in the centre of the forum, and said to his attendants he 
would have one like it in Constantinople, to which Hormisdas, a 
young Persian prince attached to the Court, replied — ' You must 
first provide your horse with a stable like this.' " I shall recall to 
the memory of the reader only two of the many historical events 
which have taken place in this forum. First the burning of the 
registers of the arrears due to the Imperial Treasury (syngrapha 
or tabulae debitorum) by private citizens, ordered by Hadrian A.D. 
118. The sum was simply appalling: " novies millies centena 
millia sestertium," or about 170,000,000 lire. A fragment of 
the inscription recording the event, discovered in 1812, has been 
set up in the modern wall behind the pillar. (See Corpus I?tscr., 
vi. 967 ; Eckhel — Doctr. 7tumm.^ vol. vii. 486 ; and Vita Hadr.^ 7.) 
The other occurrence is related in the Vita Marci, ch. xvii. 
The Treasury being exhausted in consequence of the Marco- 
mannic wars, and the Emperor being unwilling to burden his 
subjects with new contributions (especially as the pestilence 
was then raging), he put up to auction all the valuables of the 
Crown. The auction took place in the forum of Trajan and 
lasted two months, a large sum of money being realised, with 
the help of which the war was brought to a successful close. 
Marcus Aurelius sold the golden plate and vases of crystal and 
murrha, even the Imperial drinking-cups, the State robes set with 
gems and woven of silk, and also many marvellous jewels which 
he had found in a secret drawer of Hadrian — " in repostorio 
sanctiore Hadriani." After the end of the war he offered to buy 
back the objects sold, and showed no dissatisfaction whatever with 
those who refused. 

To support the deep cuttings on either side of the forum, 
Apollodorus raised two hemicycles (Plan A B), the design and 
architecture of which is so complicated that it would be difficult 
to describe it properly. There are few traces left of the one 
towards the Capitol, but the semicircular line of the houses in the 
piazza delle Chiavi d'oro shows it to have been perfectly symmetrical 



with the one on the opposite side. This last, very well preserved, 
bears the traditional name of baths of Aemilius Paulus — Balnea- 
pauli — Magnanapoli — and consists of many-storeyed corridors 
and shops or rooms, built against the live rock of the Quirinal. 
The pavement which extends in front of the building was laid bare 
during the French invasion (1812). The place well deserves a 
visit. Apply to the custode of the Forum, or to the Ufficio dei 
Monumenti via in Miranda. The remains, however, are not all 
accessible. They cover an immense space under the palazzo Ceva- 
Roccagiovane, palazzo Tiberi, under the barracks and monastery 
of S, Caterina da Siena, under the house and garden of prince 
Ruspoli, and also under the houses of the via del Grillo. 

Literature. — Fea, Carlo — Prodromo di mwve osse)~vazioni ,\). 4 ; 'Ar\6.Isc?'izioni 
di Moniim. , p. 13. Braun, Emil — Ruins and Museums, p. 20, n. 8. Armellini, 
Mariano — Chiese, 2nd ed. p. 177. The remains have been measured and 
designed by Sangallo the elder — Cod. Barberi?i. , f . 2 ; by Sangallo the younger — 
U/izi, n. 1 187 ; by Sallustio Peruzzi — UJizi, 653, 654, 656, 665, 687 ; by Gio. 
Antonio Dosio — UJizi, 2540, 2565 ; by Martin Heemskerk — Berlin, 28, 34 ; 
and by Andrea Aleppi and Domenico Cacchiatelli, after the French excavations 
in 1815. 

The basilica Ulpia, a hall 89 metres long, 54 wide, surrounded 
by a double line of columns, 96 in all, was excavated in 18 13 by 
the French Government after the demolition of the convents dello 


Spirito Santo and di S. Eufemia, which occupied its site. On 
the return of Pius VII. in 18 14 the works were resumed, a wall 
supporting the modern streets was built on the border of the ex- 
cavations, and the columns of the nave and aisles were set up on 




their bases, many of which had been found in situ. It must 
be observed, however, that not all the columns were of grey or 
psaronian granite : those on either side of the entrance doors 
were certainly, and those of the nave were probably, of giallo 
antico and fluted. One of these last was removed to the 
Lateran at the time of Clement VIII. and placed under the organ 
of the nave Clementina ; and four went to the transept of S. 
Peter's. The nave was covered by a roof of bronze, the opocfiov 
Xa^Kov of Pausanias (v. 12, 4, and x. 5, 5), and paved with crusts 


of the rarest marble, many fragments of which, discovered in 1813 
have since been stolen by unscrupulous tourists. 

The basilica faced the forum on its longer side, as the basilica 
Julia faced the forum Romanum. There were three doors, 
flanked by four columns each, and above them quadrigae, and 
trophies of gilt metal, made " ex manubiis," viz. with the produce 
of the sale of the spoils of war. The names of the glorious legions 
who had fought so bravely in both Dacian campaigns were 
engraved on the frieze over the doors ; we can still read those of 
the XI Claudia, of the XV Apollinaris, and of the XX Valeria 
\'ictrix. Other trophies were set up, on the edge of the five 


marble steps which descended to the " area fori," on pedestals 
inscribed with the \^<g^Xidi {Corpus^ vi. n. 959) — "The S.P.Q.R. to 
Traian son of Nerva . . . consul for the sixth time (a.d. 112), 
father of the country, for the great services rendered to the 
commonwealth in peace and in war." The marvellous beauty of 
the marble decorations of the nave and aisles cannot be properly 
described. The reader may get an idea of it from the two 
fragments which are here reproduced (Figs. 120, 121). (Compare 
Helbig — Guide^ vol. i. p. 468, n. 627 ; and p. 470, n. 629, 630.) 
The side of the basilica towards the Forum is represented in two 
medals ap. Cohen, Mo7i7taies imper. Trajan^ n. 42, 43, 44 ; and 
its plan in a fragment of the Forma Urbis^ ap. Jordan 25, 26. 

The basilica ended with two hemicycles, one of which was called 
LiBERTATis. The meaning of the name is not certain, but as we 
know from Sidonius Apollinaris that the formalities attending the 
manumission of slaves were accomplished in this forum, it is 
possible that the old name of atrium Libertatis had been transferred 
in the second century from the neighbourhood of the forum 
Romanum^ to the hemicycle of the basilica Ulpia, a portion of 
which is still visible under the palazzo Ceva-Roccagiovine. 
Mommsen and de Rossi have expressed the opinion that the 
ceremony of manumission was again performed in the fourth 
century in or near the old site, in the Secretarium Senatus. 

Coming out of the basilica from the side opposite the forum, 
we enter a small court or cavaedium (24 metres x 16) flanked by 
two halls, which have been identified with the libraries mentioned 
by Dion Cassius (Ixviii. 26). They were called bibliotheca 
Ulpia, and also b. templi Traiani. Nibby, who saw them 
excavated in 18 12-14, gives a good description of their arrange- 
ment in vol. ii. p. 189 of the Roma antica. Gellius names 
among their contents the " edicta praetorum," and Vopiscus (?) the 
" libri lintei " or official registers (regesta) of the acts and deeds 
of each Emperor. A special license from the prefect of Rome was 
required to inspect these records of the history of the world ; and 
when Vopiscus himself was asked to write the life of Aurelianus 
on the basis of official documents, he had to apply to Junius 
Tiberianus, prefect A.D. 291, for a permit to consult them. There 
was another set called " libri elephantini," on the leaves of which, 
made of sheets of ivory, were transcribed the Senatus consulta 
concerning the person of the Emperor. The documents of State 
were afterwards removed by Diocletian to his baths. 

1 Cicero — ad Attic, book i v. n. 16; Servius — Aeneid, book i. v. 726. 


The great column, " columna cochlis," 128 feet or 38 metres 
high without the statue, stands in a court of such diminutive 
proportions that it could not possibly be seen to advantage, except 
from the north side — that is, from the steps of the temple. It is 
composed of 34 blocks of Carrara marble, 8 of which form the 
pedestal, i the base, 23 the shaft, i the capital, and i the 
pedestal of the bronze statue. A spiral staircase of 185 steps, 
lighted by 45 loopholes, leads to the top, viz. to the square 
platform above the capital. A spiral band of high reliefs describing 
the fortunes of the Dacic wars covers the column on the outside. 
The rehefs, containing 2500 figures, were cut after the shaft had 
l3een set up, so as to make the joints of the blocks absolutely 
imperceptible. The same process was followed with regard to the 
spiral stairs, which were only roughly hewn out of the block before 
it was lifted into position, and then finished. Nothing can give a 
better idea of the exactness and ingenuity with which the great 
work was accomplished than to ascend the pillar,^ examine the 
joints, the development of the steps, and the clever distribution of 
the loopholes, which, while supplying plenty of light, are so well 
concealed by the outer relief as to remain almost invisible. On 
nearing the door, which opens on the platform or balcony alcove 
the capital, we see the sides of the stairs covered with graffiti, 
with historical names among them. The oldest dates from a.d. 663, 
and refers to the disastrous visit of Constans II., described Ande?tt 
Rome, p. 294. 

There is a current belief that Trajan's ashes were deposited 
underneath the column in an urn of solid gold. Dion Cassius 
(Ixix. 2) is responsible for this statement, which is confirmed by 
Eutropius and Cassiodorus ; but if we consider that the column 
was finished in i 13, viz. four years before Trajan's death, that the 
inscription on the pedestal distinctly asserts that it was raised to 
mark the height of the hill cut away to make room for the forum 
and not as a funeral monument, and that there is no trace of a 
room, recess, or vault, nor of a door and of stairs leading or 
descending to it, Dion's statement appears to us more than doubtful. 
The question could be easily cleared up de facto by examining 
the foundations on which the column rests. 

An inscription discovered in Rome in the latter part of the 
fifteenth century is closely connected with the Emperor's death at 
Selinus in Cilicia, in August 117. It mentions likewise the death 

^ Permissions delivered at the Ufficio regionale dei Monumenti via in 


of one of his faithful servants, a young man of twenty-eight, M. 
Ulpius Phaedimus, a butler, which took place on August 12 th of 
the same month and in the same city. His ashes were also 
removed to Rome and given a solemn burial : " reliquiae traiectae 
eius ex permissu collegii pontific(um) piaculo facto." 

The discovery of the polychromy of the column, viz. of traces 
of colours (and of gilding ?) was made by G. Semper on July 9th, 
1833, as briefly described in the Bull. Iiist.^ 1833, P- 92- P- Morey, 
one of those who had joined Semper in his perilous expedition, ^ 
tried to deny the statement in a letter addressed to Bunsen 
{ibid.., 1836, p. 39). Later observations made when Napoleon III. 
caused a plaster-cast to be taken of the column have shown 
Semper's theory to be the correct one. 

The pedestal of the column was excavated at the time of 
Paul III., who caused the church of S. Nicolao de Columna to be 
demolished. Sixtus V. in 1588 built an enclosure -wall round 
the pedestal, and placed the bronze statue of S. Peter on the top 
of the pillar. The murder of Hugues Basseville or Basville, the 
envoy of the French revolutionists, took place at the foot of this 
column on the 23 nivose an I. (Jan. 13th, 1793). The assassina- 
tion is represented in a rare engraving by Berthault. 

Literature. ^ — Corpus htscr., vol, vi. n. 960. Antonio da Sangallo the elder 
— Cod. Barber., f. 18, and other artists mentioned in Ferri's Catalogue of 
Architectural Drawings in the Ufizi (Roma, 1885), pp. 156 and 167. Pietro da 
Cortona, in Dr. Meade's collection of drawings at Eton College. See Bull, 
com., 1895, P- ^^2. Ciaccone, Alfonso — Historia utriusque belli Dacici, 
etc., Romae, 1576, fol. Gori, Anton. Francesco — Columna traiana . . . ab 
Andrea Morellio delineata, etc. Amsterdam, 1652. Fabretti, Raffaele — De 
columna traiana syntagma. Romae, 1683. Piranesi, Gio. Battista — Trofeo 
sia inagnifica colonna, etc., in 28 plates. Plainer and Hirt — Gesch. des 
Baukunst., ii. 355. Fea, Carlo, in Winckelmann's Storia dell' Arte, vol. iii. p. 
355. Froehner — La colonne trajane in 8°, 1865, in fol. 1874. Reinach, 
Salomon — La colonne trajane au musde de Saint Germain, 1886. Geffroy, 
Auguste — La colonne d' Ajxadius a Constantinople, extrait des Monuments et 
M^moires publics par I'Acad. des Inscr. Paris, Leroux, 1895. In the Cabinet 
des Estampes, Bibliotheque Nation., Paris (Rome, volume Monti, D), there 
are over one hundred prints of the column. A silver model carved by Valadier 
is now in the royal palace at Munich. 

The temple of Trajan closed the monumental group on the 
north side. It was erected by Hadrian pa^ientibvs SVIS (Trajan 
and Plotina), and was noted for its colossal proportions. The 
Corinthian capitals 6 feet high, and the pieces of columns of 

1 They had been lov,'ered from the capital on a kind of cage held by ropes 
and pulleys. 




granite 6 feet in diameter which now He at the foot of the pillar, have 
been discovered at various times under the palazzo Imperiali-Valen- 
tini. Winckelmann describes the removal of one, found August 
1765, while five more were left on the spot. I have myself seen 
other pieces discovered when the palazzo Valentini became the seat 
of the County council. The curious set of heads of animals, allud- 
ing perhaps to the conquest of Arabia made by Cornelius Palma, 


formerly in the court of the palace, was removed in 1878 to the 
Collegio romano, and again in 1890 to the museo delle Terme 
(see Fig. 122). 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr., vi. n. 966. Winckelmann, in Fea's Miscellanea, 
vol. i. p. cci. n. 7 ; ^ndiStoria dell' Arte, vol. ii. p. 372 ; iii. p. 44. Minutolo, 
in Sallengre's Suppl. antiq. rom., vol. i. col. 159. I.anciani, Rodolfo — Bull. 
Inst., 1869, p. 237. 

The forum of Trajan has been a favourite subject of study with 
the young architects of the French academy, villa Medici. A 
list of their drawings and restorations has been published by 
E. Pourchet, i 5 rue des Beaux Arts, Paris. 



Before giving an account of the rest of the city, I must remind 
the reader once more that in writing this book I do not intend to 
produce a manual of Roman topography, but simply a description 
of its existing remains. In carrying out the scheme I have 
endeavoured, as stated in the preface, to group the buildings in 
regard to their chronology or destination rather than to the place 
they occupy accidentally in the various quarters of the city. 


(Regio I, Porta Capena — Regio II, Caelimontium) 
(Map, Fig. 123) 

I. The Caelian hill and its south-western slopes were included 
by Augustus within the limits of the first and second regions, the 
line of separation being the wall of Servius Tullius. Regio I, 
named porta Capena, extended on the left side of the Appian 
way as far as the river Almo (the Acquataccio, or Marrana della 
Caffarella), a distance of 2107 metres from the gate. Richter 
calls it appropriately " die Vorstadt der via Appia " and also " die 
Vorstadt extra portam Capenam." It was a narrow strip of land, 
bounded on the side opposite the Appian way by another road, issu- 
ing from the porta Metroni, the name of which is unknown. A third 
road, the Latina, crosses it diagonally, skirting the base of a hillock 
called by Ficoroni " il Celiolo," " Remuria" by others, "Calvarello " 
in the Middle Ages, and now the " monte d' Oro." Considering the 
preference given by the Romans to the borders of the great 
consular roads for the establishment of public cemeteries, and for 
the erection of private tombs and mausoleums, no wonder that 



regie I, crossed by three of them, the Appia, the Latina, and the one 
issuing- from the porta Metroni, should be in the main a region of 
tombs. Some of them date from a remote age, when the via 
Appia and the via Latina were mere paths traced by the hoofs of 
beasts of burden and not levelled or yet paved by the hand of man. 
Such is the sepulchral cave discovered in May 1836 in the vigna 
Cremaschi, the first on the right of the porta Latina, a description 
of which is given in the Bullett. Inst.^ 1836, p. 103. It was found 
by accident below the pavement of a columbaria of the first cen- 
tury, at a depth of 7-80 metres. It consisted of "a grotto hewn 
out of the live rock, of irregular shape and without ornaments. 
It contained several vases of black ware (bucchero ?) with rough 
figures of animals traced on their surface in the Etruscan fashion. 
One of the vases contained the remains of an incinerated body." 
Roman tradition and epigraphic documents help us in following 
the growth and development of this great necropolis, especially 
after the opening of the viae Latina and Appia, which took place 
between 312 and 297 B.C.^ The first historical tomb on leaving 
the gate was that of Horatia, which Livy (i. 26) describes as built 
" saxo quadrato" with blocks of tufa ; then followed the family 
mausoleums of the Calatini, of the Scipios, of the Servilii, of the 
Metelli, mentioned by Cicero {Tiiscul., i. 7, 13), two of which, those 
of the Scipios and of the Metelli, are still in existence. 

11. Hypogaeum Scipionum, discovered partly in 1614, partly 
in 1780.^ — This venerable monument and the ground which 
covers and surrounds it were bought, on my suggestion, by the 
city in 1880. They are entered by the via di porta S. Sebastiano, 
No. 12, and can be visited every day, Sundays excepted. Entrance 
fee, 25 centimes. 

The discoveries of the seventeenth century have been mentioned 
by one epigraphist alone, Giacomo Sirmondo, in a book entitled 
Aiitiquae i7iscriptionis^ qua L. Scipio7tis Barbati filii expressuni est 
elogiuj?t, explajiatio^ Romae, 1 6 1 7. Two sarcophagi were found : 
one, of L. Cornelius Scipio, quaestor 167 B.C., was left undis- 
turbed; another, of L. Cornelius, son of Barbatus, consul 259, 

^ The via Appia was tminita, that is to say, levelled, straightened, and mac- 
adamised, by Appius Claudius Caecus, censor in 312 B.C. (Livy, ix. 29). The 
brothers Ogulnii, censors in 297, added to it aside walk paved with flagstones, 
which went as far as the temple of Mars {ibid., x. 23). Lastly, T. Quinctius 
Flamininus and M. Claudius Marcellus, censors in 188, " viam silice sternendam 
a porta Capena ad Martis locaverunt " {ibid., xxxviii. 28). If we can believe 
the same historian, the rest of the road from the temple to Bovillae had been 
paved since the year 292 (x. 47). 


was broken and its inscription sold to a stonecutter near the ponte 
Rotto, in whose shop Grimaldi saw it on Sept. 25th, 1 61 4. Agostini 
bought it for 20 scudi, and gave or sold it to the Barberinis, who 
set it into the wall of the spiral staircase of their palace, near the 
door of the library. 

The brothers Sassi, owners of the vineyard in which the dis- 
coveries of 1614 had taken place, while enlarging their wine- 
cellar in May 1780, came once more across the hypogaeum, and 
laid bare its precious contents. In reading the accounts left by 
Morcelli, Marini, Visconti, and Amaduzzi, we cannot understand 
how such acts of wanton destruction as the brothers Sassi perpe- 
trated on this most venerable of Roman historical tombs could 
have been permitted or left unpunished by Pius VI., whose love 
for antique monuments certainly cannot be questioned. ;. 

The Scipios' tombs contain no ashes now: 
The very sepulchres lie tenantless 
Of their heroic dwellers ! 

The sarcophagi were broken to pieces : their inscribed fronts 
removed to the Vatican ; the aspect of the crypts altered ; the 
movable objects dispersed ; the facsimiles of the original epitaphs 
affixed to the wrong places ; the signet-ring of one of the heroes, 
with the image of the Victory, given away to a Frenchman, Louis 
Dutens, who in his turn gave or sold it to Lord Beverley. And 
lastly, the very bones of the illustrious men, which had been 
respected even by the so-called barbarians, would have been dis- 
persed to the four winds but for the pious interference of Angelo 
Quirini, a senator of Venice, who rescued the relics of L. Cornelius 
Scipio, son of Barbatus, and placed them in a marble urn in the 
villa deir Alticchiero, near Padua. A remarkable fate indeed, if 
we recall to mind the words of Livy (xxxviii. 53) : "Scipio spent 
the last years of his life at Liternum, without missing in the least 
degree the attractions of city life ; and, if we are to believe tradi- 
tion, he left instructions at the point of death to be buried in his 
farm : monimentumque ibi aedificari ne funus sibi in ingrata patria 
fieret." The same mother- country, obdurate in her ingratitude, 
allowed these remains to be dispersed after twenty centuries of rest. 
From the descriptions left by those who witnessed the excavations 
of 1780, compared with a model in full rehef made at the same time 1 
and with the present aspect of the place, we learn the following 
details about the origin and the arrangement of the hypogaeum. 

^ Nibby saw it in 1839 in the house of signer Vincenzo Titoli. 



The part of the ancient cemetery now occupied by the vigna 
Sassi was crossed at an early period by a side road, connecting 
the via Appia with the Latina, the pavement of which is still visible 
at the two ends. The road followed the foot of a rocky ridge i o 
or I 5 feet high, and passed one or more tufa quarries which had 
been opened in the face of the cliffs. One of these quarries, 
probably the property of the Scipios, was transformed into their 
family tomb at the beginning of the third century B.C., probably 
on the occasion of the opening of the via Appia, A.D. 312. The 
hypogaeum, roughly modelled on the Etruscan type, formed a 
large room, with a flat low ceiling supported by four massive pillars 
of rock, yet very far from the regularity which it appears to have in 



Piranesi's drawings (Fig. 125). The first occupant was L. Cornelius 
Scipio Barbatus, consul in 298 B.C. His sarcophagus, now in the 
Vatican museum (Belvedere, No. 2), is the only elaborate piece of 
work discovered in the tomb. The frieze, which is Doric in style, 
consists of triglyphs and of metopes adorned with rosettes ; the torus 
of the lid ends with Ionic volutes. The inscription, in the early 
Italic Saturnine verse, has been translated by follows : 

Cornelius Lucius — Scipio Barbatus 
son of his father Gnaevus — a man as clever as brave 
whose handsome appearance — was in harmony with his virtue 
who was consul and censor — among you, as well as aedile 

Taurasia Cisaunia — he captured in Samnium 
utterly overcomes Lucania — and brings away hostages. ^ 

^ Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide to the Collections of Antiquities in Rome, vol. 1. 
p. 75. Corpus Inscr., vol. i. p. 16, n. 29, 30; vol. vi. n. 1284, I285. 
Revue de Philologie, xiv. (1890) p. 119. 




The other sarcophagi were made of plain slabs of stone, or cut 
out of a single block. Their respective positions are marked in the 
annexed plan. 


A A, Cross-road between the via Appia and the Latina. B B, Margo or semita, 
raised footway. C, Arched entrance built of rough blocks of peperino. 
D, Base of one of the columns which decorated the front of the upper 
storey. E, Ancient entrance to the quarry, by which the sarcophagi were 
introduced into the crypt. F, Sarcophagus of Lucius Scipio, son of 
Asiaticus, Corpus, vol. i. n. 31. G, H, L, T, V, CofiHns of unknown 
personages. I, Coffin of peperino before which the marble tablet of Julius 
Silanus was found. M, Sarcoph. of L. Scipio, son of Barbatus, n. 32. 
N, Sarcoph. of L. Scipio, son of Cnaeus, n. 34. O, Sarcoph. of Scipio 
Barbatus, n. 29. P, Sarcoph. of Cornelia Paula, n! 39. Q, Sarcoph. of 
Scipio Asiagenes Comatus, n. 36. R, Sarcoph. of Scipio Hispallus, n. 38. 
S, Marble slab with name of Cornelia Gaetulica. XXX, Three rooms, 
forming part of an edifice of the second century, built of bricks. Y, Sar- 
coph. of P. Scipio flamen dialis, n. 33. Z, Present entrance to the crypt. 



We are not sure how much faith Piranesi's plan deserves, some 
of the particulars being manifestly fanciful. The gallery, for 
instance, which runs in front of the sarcophagus of Barbatus (O), 
has never been finished, and its end on the right is still blocked by 
a ledge of live rock. The reader may estimate the amount of 
damage which the hypogaeum has suffered since 1780 by com- 
paring Piranesi's plan with the following one, which shows its 
present state. 


FIG. 126.— TOMii OF THE sciPios. (Present State.) 

There are three more particulars to be noticed. The first is 
that the crypts of the Scipios were kept accessible as a place of 
historical pilgrimage up to the fourth century after Christ, as 
shown by the walls in the so-called " opus maxentianum," built 
here and there to keep the tomb in repair. 

In the second place, the preference shown by the gens Cornelia, 
of which the Scipios were a branch, for burial as opposed to 
cremation is proved by the presence of sarcophagi and by the 
absence of cinerary urns (see Cicero — De Leg., ii. 12 ; and Pliny, 
vii. 54). The first Cornelius to give up family traditions on this 
point was Sulla the dictator, who, having caused the remains of 
Marius to be exhumed and profaned, ordered his own body to be 
cremated for fear of retaliation. Sulla's ashes were not deposited 
in this family vault — which seems to have been owned only by the 


three branches of the Scipios called African!, Asiatic!, and Hispalli 
— but in a great mausoleum on the Campus Martius described by 
Plutarch. What seems strange, however, is that none of the 
leaders of the three branches, Publius CorneHus Scipio Africanus 
Maior, the conqueror of Carthage, ti83 B.C.; Lucius Cornelius 
Scipio Asiaticus, his brother ; and Cn. Cornelius Scipio Hispallus, 
consul in 171, should have found rest in this tomb. Livy 
(xxxviii. 56) says that no one knew whether the great Africanus 
had been buried at Liternum or at Rome, because a grave and a 
statue were shown in both places. Seneca likewise writes to 
Lucilius from Liternum : '• I address this epistle to you (the 
Ixxxvith) from the very villa of Scipio the African, after having 
paid reverence to his memory and to the altar which / suspect to 
be his grave." The monument and statue erected in or near the 
Roman hypogaeum have yet to be discovered. 

The third particular refers to the presence of an outsider in the 
same hypogaeum — of Q. Ennius the poet, who was born at Rudiae 
in Calabria 289 B.C., and died in Rome at the age of seventy. 
Although dwelling in a humble house on the Aventine, and sup- 
porting himself by teaching the Greek language and translating 
Greek plays for the Roman stage, he was the friend of the great, 
and lived on terms of the closest intimacy with the elder Africanus. 
Livy (xxxviii. 36) says that " in Scipionum monumento extra 
portam Capenam " three statues could be seen, one of which was 
considered to represent the poet, and Cicero adds that the statue 
was of inarble. A laurel-crowned portrait head in peperino was 
actually found in the tomb in 1780, and is now placed in the 
Vatican museum above the sarcophagus of Barbatus. "The un- 
Roman type of countenance and the presence of the laurel wreath, 
which might well be worn by a poet," have led many to attribute 
this head to the statue mentioned by Livy and Cicero. The 
objection derived from the material in which it is carved (peperino 
instead of marble) has no great weight. I have no doubt that 
Cicero is mistaken in mentioning marble, because in the third 
century B.C. portrait statues and busts were sculptured in Rome 
out of stone. 

Literature. — Amaduzzi, Giovanni — Novelle letter. Jiorentiiie, 1780-83. 
Visconti, Gio. Battista — Antologia romana, vols, vi.-ix. Dutens, Louis — 
CEuvres vtcldes. Geneve, 1784. Visconti, Enrico Quirino, in Piranesi's Monu- 
mento degli Scipioni, Roma, 1785 ; and Opere varie, Milano, 1827, vol. i. pp. 
1-70. Lanzi — Saggio di lingua et ruse a, vol. i. p. 150. Marini, Gaetani — Atti 
ArvaL, p. 117, n. 109. Fea, Carlo, in Winckelniann's Storia dell' Arte, i. 



30, and iii. 46. Nibby, Antonio — Roma a?itica, vol. ii. p. 561. Corpus 
Inscr., vol. i. pp. 11-16, n, 29-39; and vol. vi. p. 282, n. 1284-1294. 
Helbig, ^oMgzxvg— Guide, vol. i. p. 75, n. 127 ; and p. 356, n. 484. 


At the opposite end of the vigna Sassi, close to the chapel of 
S. Giovanni in Oleo and to the porta Latina, are to be seen the — 

III. Columbaria (so-called) of Pomponius Hylas. — Keys 
with the custode of the tomb of the Scipios ; open every day 
except Sunday. 

This graceful structure, one of the best preserved of its kind in 
Rome, was discovered by Pietro Campana in 1831. It is known 
by the name of " Hylas and Vitaline," because the mosaic tablet 
occupies the most conspicuous place opposite the entrance ; but 


the fact is that it was built, Hke so many others of the Augustan 
age, either by subscription among friends or relatives, or by 
speculators ready to sell the cinerary urns to the first comer. The 
crypt itself contains but twenty -two inscriptions, of no special 
interest. One hundred and seventeen more were discovered in 
the neighbourhood, many of which are set into the modern 
wall enclosing the tomb. It appears from one of them {Corpus^ 
n, 5631) that the ground where this and the neighbouring tombs 
are located belonged to Cnaeus Manlius Hasta, a freedman of the 

Some of the aediculae and niches for cinerary urns have been 
elaborately decorated by the purchasers, though not often in 
good taste. The decorations are mostly in bold relief of white 
stucco on a coloured ground, and represent various subjects, such 
as the education of Achilles by Chiron, Oknos twisting the rope 
of rushes while the ass eats it up, the tripos of the Delphic Apollo 
between two griffins (under the mosaic tablet of Hylas), Bacchic 
scenes and dances, etc. 

Literature. — Amati, Girolamo — Codex vatic, 9770, p. 3, seq. Nibby, 
Antonio — Roma antica, vol. ii. p. 556. Campana, Pietro — Dl due sepolcri 
ro77ia7ii del secolo di Augusto scoverti tra la via Latina e V Appia, Roma, 
1840, fol. Jahn, 0\.\.o— Specimen epigraph, in memoriam Olai Kellermann. 
Kiel, 1841. Co7pi/s Inscr. , vol. vi. n. 5539-5678. 

IV. The Columbaria of the vigna Codini. — The south- 
east end of the necropolis, between the vigna Sassi and the walls 
of Aurelian, is occupied by the vigna Codini, famous for the 
columbaria discovered within its limits since the renaissance of 
classical studies. The first of which we have an account was 
found towards the middle of the fifteenth century, and seems to have 
belonged to the freedmen and servants of the sons of Nero Drusus 
senior, brother of Tiberius, born 38 B.C., died A.D. 9. It contained 
at least eighty -six inscriptions, which were bought by several 
amateurs of the age — Giovanni Ciampolini, Paolo Alessi, and 
Francesco Porcari. They have all perished except a dozen or so 
which were removed from the Porcari house (vicolo delle Ceste, No. 
25) to the Vatican by Gaetano Marini. (Consult the Corpus Inscr.^ 
vol. vi. p. 899, n. 4327-4413.) Other columbaria were exca- 
vated and destroyed under Pius IV. (1559-66). Pirro Ligorio 
designed one of them, belonging to the freedmen of the gens 
Pompeia ; and his drawings have been reproduced by Pietro 
Sante Bartoli in plates 39-41 of the volume Gli aniichi sepolcri., 


Roma, 1768. Flaminio Vacca speaks of a " magnifica sepol- 
tura" discovered and destroyed by cardinal Prospero Santacroce, 
t 1589,1 and of some sarcophagi, inscribed Diis Manibiis^ of 
columns, architectural ornaments, and other fragments which he 
himself bought in a vineyard near the porta Latina. Pietro Sante 
Bartoli likewise mentions the discovery of pagan and Christian 
cemeteries near the junction of the Appia and the Latina, in a 
vineyard of a certain Orlandi. Orlandi had collected a very rich 
harvest in cameos, intaglios, cinerary urns of glass, of marble, and 
of metal, figurines of bronze and terra-cotta, and other "cose 
bellissime," when donna Olimpia Pamphili, the omnipotent sister 
of the reigning pope Innocent X,, seized the whole collection, and 
carried it in four cartloads to her own palace in the piazza Navona. 
Another excavation, described by Bartoli, led to the discovery of a 
sepulchral room containing the cinerarium of Asinia Fortunata 
{Corpus, n. 12,547). 

In 1726-33 many columbaria (gran quantita di camere sepolcrali 
ripiene di colombaj) were excavated by Francesco Bevilacqua 
near the boundary-line with the vigna Sassi, Ficoroni speaks of 
many hundred urns of terra-cotta and alabaster filled with inciner- 
ated remains, of inscriptions still retaining the red colour of the 
letters, of vases carved in marble, and of frescoes one of which 
represented the figure of an architect with the instruments (the 
graphium, the pes, the square, the plummet) of his profession. 
This interesting picture would have been destroyed like the others 
but for the prompt action of marchese Alessandro Capponi, who 
caused it to be removed from the wall, transferred to canvas, 
framed, and afterwards engraved on copper. The original is now 
preserved in the Kircherian museum. Pier Leone Ghezzi adds 
that the excavations of 1726 were carried on in both vineyards at 
the same time — in the vigna Sassi at the expense of Herr 
Wenkler of Leipzig, in the vigna Codini at the expense of signor 
Garzia Muggiani, who then owned the property. The quantity of 
tombs brought to light by these men is described as "prodigious." 
The reader may appreciate the barbarous way in which antique 
monuments were treated in those days from the fact that many of 
the inscriptions discovered in 1726-33 have perished, and the few 
spared are now dispersed far and wide, at Verona, Venice, Lowther 

^ Cardinal Prospero is famous for having first introduced into Rome the 
tobacco leaf, which was named from him erba santa, or erba saniacfoce. 
In memory of this event Roman tobacconists used to put in the signs of their 
shops a white cross, the coat of arms of the Santacroce family. 


Castle near Penrith, and at Rome itself in the Vatican and 
Kircherian museums. 

Literature. — Ficoroni, Francesco — La bolla d oro, p. 47 ; and Memorie, in 
Fea's Miscellanea, vol. i. p. cxxxiv. n. 33. Ghezzi, Pier Leone, in Bull. arch, 
com., 1882, p. 206, n. 2; and p. 222, n. 60. Schreiber, Theodor — Die. 
Ftmdberichte des P. L. Ghezzi, in Berichten der k. sachs. Gesellschaft d. 
Wissenschaften, 1892, p. iii. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. part ii. p. 968, n. 

Excavations were resumed in 1788 near the tomb of the 
Scipios ; sixty-four inscriptions came to light, of which fourteen 
have perished, the others were removed to the museo Borgia at 
Velletri (now in the museo Nazionale, Naples), to that of Palermo, 
of the Vatican, etc. A few are to be seen on the spot. {Corpus 
Inscr.., vol. vi. part ii. p. 963, n. 5679-5743.) 

The three columbaria now visible in the vigna Codini (entrance 
via di porta S. Sebastiano, No. 13, last door on the left) were dis- 
covered respectively in 1840, 1847, and 1853 : the first and the 
second by Pietro Campana, the third by Codini himself. The colum- 
baria of 1840 consists of one room deep under ground and acces- 
sible by a flight of twenty steps. It measures 7*50 x 5*65 metres, 
and has a massive pier in the centre, to which the weight of the 
vaulted ceiling was entrusted. The ancient walls, 6'24 metres high, 
were covered with frescoes and arabesques representing birds and 
animals. The room contains 450 pigeon-holes for cinerary urns, 
and 297 inscriptions, dating mostly from the time of Tiberius and 
Claudius. They afford much interest to the student of Roman 
antiquities, and throw a considerable light on the organisation and 
management of the Imperial household. 

The trade in pigeon-holes and cinerary urns appears to have 
been very brisk. The urns passed sometimes through several 
hands. One, marked n. 4884 in the Corpus, was sold by Porcius 
Philargurus to Pinarius Rufus, who in his turn sold it to Sotericus 
Lucer. Pinarius Rufus is mentioned more than once as an active 
stock-jobber, selling at a profit what he had purchased at a low price. 
It appears that to faciHtate the approach to the upper rows of niches 
— there are nine in all — the tomb was provided with movable 
wooden balconies, supported by wooden brackets ; this is, at least, 
the explanation suggested for the square holes visible between the 
fourth and the fifth row. Inscription n. 4886 commemorates a 
buffoon of Tiberius, a mute, who tried to divert the gloomy temper 
of his master by imitating the gesticulations of lawyers pleading in 
the Forum. Another, marked 5076, contains the fragment of a 




diary of a journey from the borderland of Cilicia towards Caesarea 
in Cappadocia. The dates go from the 12th to the 19th of 
October, during which time the traveller proceeds from Mopsukrene, 
a frontier station near the Cilician gates, to Tyana and Andabalis 
on the side of Caesarea, a distance of 77 miles according to the Itin. 
of A7ito7ii?ius^ or of 81 miles according to the Hierosolymitanum. 

Literature. — Campana, Pietro — Di due sepolcri romani del secolo di A ugusio, 
parte seconda, Roma, 1840. Braun, Emil — Colombario scoperto nella vigna 
accanto a porta Latina, in Bull. Inst., 1840, p. 136. Jahn, Otto — Specimen 
epigraphictan, Kiel, 1841, p. 28. Corpus Itiscr., vol. vi. part ii. p. 926, n. 

The second columbaria were discovered by Campana in February 
1847 not far from the preceding one. They consist of a plain 
square room, with nine rows of pigeon-holes on each wall, number- 
ing 295 in all, with over 400 funereal tablets. Four inscriptions 
(one of which is written on the floor in letters of mosaic) tell the tale 
of the place. The columbaria were finished and the urns divided 
among the shareholders of the company which had built the place 
in the year A.D. 10, under the consulship of Sergius Lentulus 
Maluginensis and Q. Junius Blaesus. The pavement was a private 
contribution of two shareholders, one a freedmanof SextusPompeius, 
son of Pompey the great, the other a freedman of C. Memmius. 
The majority of those whose ashes have found rest in this room 
belong to the servants and freedmen of Marcella the elder, who 
married JuHus Antonius after her divorce from M. Agrippa (2 i B.C.) ; 
and of Marcella the younger, who had also married twice, first 
Paullus Aemilius Lepidus, and then M. Valerius Messalla. An- 
nexed to the columbaria were the tss/riJia^ or spaces set apart for 
the incineration of bodies. The indications given by the inscribed 
stones on this particular allow us to reconstruct a fragment of the 
plan of the necropolis, as follows : — 

Lane (via, populus). 

(No measure 

Ustrinum of 

the College of 


xiii^ ft. 

Ustrinum of 
Vitalis and 

xviii. ft. 

Ustrinum of the 
corporation of 

xii. ft. 

[^ Ustrinum 
r of the makers 
of sacks. 

Lane (via, popu'us). 

Literature. — Henzen, Wilhelm — Bull. Inst., 1847, p. 49 ; a.n(l Ann. Inst. 
1856, p. 9. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. part ii. p. 908, n. 4414-4880. 




The third and last columbaria were discovered by Gio. Battista 
Guidi in May 1852. The shape of the edifice differs considerably 
from that of the preceding ones, and presents the appearance of a 


corridor the three wings of which follow each other at right angles. 
The stairs occupy the end of the wing parallel with the via Appia, 
while the opposite wing terminates with a crypt excavated in the 


live rock. The bones and skulls which filled it up at the moment 
of the discovery were considered to belong to slaves of the lowest 
order, whose remains had been thrown into the den as if they were 
carrion. The walls of the corridor are divided into compartments 
by means of pilasters with capitals of the composite order (Fig, 128). 
The niches for cineraria are not arched, as usual, but square, and 
contain four urns each. The characteristic of this "co-operative 
tomb," so evident in our illustration, is a set of marble brackets 
which project from the walls between the fourth and fifth rows 
of niches, counting from the floor. They were destined to support 
the temporary wooden balcony by means of which the relatives 
and friends of the deceased could reach the upper tiers of niches 
on anniversary days, when the urns were decorated with flowers, 
libations were offered, and other ceremonies performed. This 
sepulchral chamber appears to have been tenanted by a better 
and wealthier set of people than the other two. Many were freed- 
men of the Julian dynasty from the age of Augustus and Livia to 
that of Claudius. The last places seem to have been occupied 
under the last-named Emperor, The room was entered again 
under Trajan and Hadrian, and a few liberti Ulpii and Aelii laid 
to rest on the only vacant space left, viz. on the floor. This has 
been more or less the fate of all Roman columbaria. It seems 
that at one time, towards the middle of the second century, no 
more room could be found within reasonable distance from the 
city for the erection of sepulchral chambers, or else that the price 
of land had reached a prohibitory figure above the means of the 
poorer classes. Old columbaria were therefore reopened, as res 
niilliics^ and new corpses crammed within their precincts. I re- 
member having seen in the excavations of the necropolis by the 
porta Maggiore one or two columbaria of the Statilian family, 
which had been used again as burial-places when their pavement 
was already covered by a bed of rubbish 3 feet thick. Some 
of the terra-cotta coffins had been simply laid on this newly-made 
ground, other bodies had been buried in it. 

Literature. — Braun, Emil — Bull. Inst., 1852, p. 82. Henzen, Wilhelm — 
Annul. Inst., 1856, p. 18. Corpus Inscr. , vol. vi. part ii. p. 939, n, 5179-5538. 

In the triangle between the viae Latina and Appia and the walls 
of Aurelian, in fact, in the vigne Sassi and Codini alone, 1559 
tombstones have already been found, not counting those of the 
Scipios, one-twentieth perhaps of the original number. The ex- 
ploration is far from being complete. 


Before leaving this conspicuous section of the Roman necropoHs 
I must mention two monuments which connect it with the early 
days of Christianity. 

While Pietro Campana was searching the ground in his first 
attempt of 1840, a cubiculum was discovered the paintings of 
which represented Biblical scenes. The Pastor bonus was given 
the place of honour in the middle of the vault, while Moses striking 
the rock, the feeding of the 5000, the raising of Lazarus, and a 
fourth uncertain subject were painted on the four lunettes. Three 
sides of the room were occupied by arcosolia, the fourth by the 
door. The paintings of the arcosolia represented the " Orante " 
(a woman praying with hands raised), Daniel in the den of lions, 
Noah and the ark. The figures of the paralytic and of Job were 
represented on each side of the door. Two inscriptions were found 
in front of two arcosolia, one of which, written in a patois half Greek 
half Latin, bore the name of a Veratius Nikatoras (BHPATIOY^S 
NIKAT0PA2) and ended with the sentence BIOS TAYTA, 
" this is life," vita hoc est ! This Veratius was a (ialatian, as 
proved by the discovery made by George Perrot near Ancyra of 
the tombstone of his wife, which ends with the same words, o ^'10^ 
Tavra. Now it seems certain that this particular plot of the 
necropolis was destined for foreigners who died in Rome. De 
Rossi discovered here in 1883 the broken epitaph of one of the 
faithful from Smyrna, and Campana the tombstone of another from 
the borderland of Cappadocia and Armenia. The importance of 
the discovery Hes in the fact that the crypt adorned with Christian 
paintings must be older than the walls of Aurelian (272), contem- 
porary, in fact, with some of the pagan mausoleums by which it is 
surrounded. This remarkable monument is lost, Campana con- 
cealed its discovery from de Rossi, and revealed it only many years 
afterwards, when he had lost the memory of its exact position. 
De Rossi tried in vain to rediscover it in 1884. 

Literature. — De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Bull, crist., 1884-85, pp. 57, 58; and 
1886, pp. 14, 17. Garrucci, Raffaele — Monnmenti del museo laterafi. , pi. i, 
n. 3 ; and Arte crisiiana, tav. 484, 10. Compare also Secchi, Gian Pietro 
— Mofinmcnti ifiedifi d' mi antico sepolcro. Roma, Salviucci, 1843. 

The second Christian monument of this region is to be found 
on the opposite side of the vigna Sassi, under the farmhouse of the 
vigna Pallavicini. Mariano Armellini rediscovered it in 1875, 
all traces of it having been lost since the days of Agincourt. 
It is an ancient crypt dedicated to Gabriel the archangel, and 
also to the memory of the "seven sleepers" of Ephesus. It 



was entirely covered with frescoes representing Gabriel with his 
hands raised in the attitude of prayer, the Redeemer among hosts 
of angels, Greek saints of both sexes, and seven tiny reclining 
figures under that of the Saviour, which were considered to be the 
" sette dormienti." The frescoes had been executed in the eleventh 
century at the expense of Beno de Rapiza and of his wife Maria 
Macellaria, the same to whom we owe the paintings of S. Clemente 
and of S. Urbano alia Caffarella. It seems that in those days the 
Greek legend, which had transformed the " sleep of the just," the 
"dormitio in Domino," of the seven young Ephesians into an 
actual state of catalepsy, had already found its way to Rome, and 
struck the imagination of the people. Their anniversary feast 
fell on the 27th day of July. The "cavern of the sleepers" is 
now used as a pig-sty. 

Literature. — Cassio, Alberto — Corso delle acque antic/ie, Rome, 1757, p. 28. 
Disseriatio de SS. septein dormientibus. Rome, 1741. Armellini, Mariano — 
Scoperta, di un antico oratorio presso la via Appia dedicato all' arcangelo 
Gabriele. Roma, 1875. 


V. The Caelian Hill was named Querquetulanus in the 
early days of Rome, from the trees (quercioli, oaks) which clothed 
its eastern slope, as the opposite or western slope of the Esquiline 
was named mons Fagutalis from the birches (fagi) by which it was 
shaded. The name of Caelian was subsequently adopted in 
memory of the Etruscan lucumo Caeles or Caelius Vibenna, who 
had settled with his followers on the hill at the time of Servius 
Tullius. An attempt was made under Tiberius to change the 
name into that of mons Augustus, because during a terrible con- 
flagration in the year A.D. 27, which destroyed hundreds of houses 
and palaces, the only object respected by the flames was a statue 
of the Emperor placed in the vestibule of the palace of the Junii. 

A spur of the hill, crowned by a shrine of Diana, was called 
Caeliolus, or minor Caelius. Topographers disagree as to its 
position. Ficoroni and others place it at the monte d' Oro, Canina 
at the SS. Quattro, Brocchi on the site of the villa Wolkonsky, 
Nibby on the site of S. Gregorio.i The hill and the spur were 
included in the first region of Servius, Suburana. 

^ Consult : — Piale, Stefano — Delle porte meridionali di Servio, del vero sito 
del Celiolo. Rome, 1824. Bunsen, etc. — Beschreibung, 3a, p. 478. Nibby, 
Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. p. 19. 



Augustus in his reform of 10-4 B.C. made of the Caelian the 
second region of the city. At the time of Constantine it con- 
tained 7 parishes (vici), 3600 tenement houses, 127 palaces, 85 
pubhc baths, 65 public fountains, and 15 bakeries. The most 
curious feature consisted in the fact of its being at the same time 
a district of barracks (with the customary annexes, drinking and 
gambling dens, lupanaria, etc.) and a district of aristocratic 

VI. The Castra Caelimontana. — The list of barracks 
includes — 

A. The castra equitum singularium, a select body of 
horsemen, who, like our Life Guards, cent-gardes, or cuirassiers 
du roi, were employed in the personal service of the Emperor. 
They were lodged in two splendid barracks, the castra Vetera and 
the castra nova. The first were discovered between 1885 and 1887 
in the via Tasso, in the grounds of the villa Giustiniani ; the 
second between 1733 and 1734 in the foundations of the cappella 
Corsini at the Lateran. Both barracks were magnificently 
decorated with statues, busts, altars, and works of art of every 
description, among which were the Bacchus in the Maraini House, 
illustrated by Visconti in Bull, cojn., 1886, p. 166, pi. 6, and the 
marble seat in the Corsini Library, considered to have been 
chiselled by a Greek artist. The equites singulares were sub- 
stituted for the old German bodyguard (collegium Germanorum, 
Germani corporis custodes) about the time of the Flavians, and 
were likewise recruited among the semi -barbarians of the estuary 
of the Rhine and of the Lower Danube, the Thracians being 
preferred to all other nationalities. The regiment, one thousand 
strong, was placed under the command of the praefectus praetorio. 

Literature. — Henzen, Wilhelm — Annul. Inst. , 1850, p. 5 ; and 1885, p. 235. 
Mommsen, Theodor — Epheni. epigr., vol. v. p. 233 ; Hermes, vol. xvi. p. 459, 
4 ; and Korrespondenzblatt der Westdeutschen Zeitschrift, 1886, pp. 50, 123. 
Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull. arch, cotn., 1885, p. 37 ; 1886, p. 94 ; and Notizie 
Scavi, 1885, p. 524; 1886, pp. 12, 48; 1887, p. 139; 1888, p. 566. Marucchi, 
Orazio — Btill. arch, com., 1886, p. 124. Visconti, Carlo Ludovico — Bull, 
arch, coin., 1886, p. 166, pi. 6. Corpus Inscr. , vol. vi. n. 224-228, and p. 
766, n. 3173-3323. Ficoroni, Francesco — Meviorie, in Fea's Miscellanea, vol. 
i. n. 46. 

B. Castra peregrinorum. — Whatever may have been the 
original scope of the institution of a special body of men called milites 
pereg7'i7ii (foreigners) and of their associates the viilites friimejitarii 
(commissariat), there is no doubt that towards the beginning of the 


second century after Christ the peregrini performed the duties of 
the modern gendarmes or carabinieri, while the frumentarii had 
become secret poHce agents or detectives. They were employed 
to carry despatches, to act as spies and informers, and to make 
arrests. The biographer of Hadrian says that he knew all the 
secrets of the Imperial household and of his friends with the help 
of the frumentarii: " per frumentarios omnia occulta explorabat " 
( Vita Hadriafii, c. 6). They were the chief agents in the perse- 
cutions of the Christians, as described by Cyprianus and Jerome. 
Prisoners of State were also entrusted to their custody ; Cnodomer, 
king of the Germans made prisoner in the battle of Strasburg 
and brought to Rome, is said to have died "in castris peregrinis, 
quae in monte Caelio sunt." The frumentarii and the peregrini 
were commanded by an officer called "princeps." The body was 
suppressed by Diocletian as " pestilential," and replaced by 
another called the agentes in rebus. 

The barracks were placed in the neighbourhood of S. Maria in 
Domnica, but we do not know exactly where. In March 1848 
an inscription describing the baths of the barracks was discovered 
in situ ; but Matranga, who illustrated it in the Bull. Inst, of the 
same year, p. 39, keeps the secret of the find to himself, and only 
mentions in general terms " una vigna rimpetto S. Maria in 
Navicella." The barracks were discovered partly about 1550, 
partly under the pontificates of Innocent X. (1644-55) and 
Clement X. (1670-76). Ligorio {Torin.^vol. xv. p. 127) describes 
them as divided into two sections or quadrangles (one for the 
frumentarii, one for the peregrini ?), and as occupying the space 
between the aqueduct of Nero, S. Stefano Rotondo, and la Navi- 
cella. Holstenius places them between the aqueduct, S. Stefano 
Rotondo, and the hospital of S. Giovanni ; and describes one of 
the rectangles as lined with cells, flanked by towers and walls 
i'2o metre thick, and containing in the middle of the court a 
round temple with columns of porphyry and oriental granite. The 
works of art, statues, and busts discovered in the excavations of 
1550 were probably removed to the house of Ascanio Magarozzi, 
where Ulisse Aldovrandi saw and described them in 1553. The 
account which approaches nearest the truth, and settles the 
question of site, is perhaps that of Pietro Sante Bartoli {Mem. 55). 
He says that under Innocent X. and Clement X. great excavations 
were made in the garden of Teofilo Sartori, via di S. Stefano 
Rotondo, viz. on the site of the present military hospital (villa 
Casali) ; that rows of cells (una filara di botteghe) were uncovered 


pertaining to the castra Peregrina, as well as great halls and 
mess-rooms, courts lined with colonnades, the shafts of which were 
of "bellissima breccia," statues, busts, heads, and various orna- 
ments of metal encrusted with silver, which Bartoli thinks belonged 
to a triumphal arch. Here also was found the pedestal Corpus^ 

Literature. — Ligorio, Pirro — Cod. torin., xv. p. 127. Holstenius, Lucas— 
Cod. vatic, 9141. Bartoli, P. Sante — Mem. 55 in Fea's Miscellan., vol. i. p. 
ccxxxv. Henzen, Wilhelm — Bull. Inst., 1851, p. 113. Matranga, Pietro — 
Bull. Inst., 1849, p. 34. De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Le stazioni delle coord 
del Vigili, p. 28 ; and La basilica di S. Stefano rotondo, etc., p, 9, in Studii e 
docum. di storia e diritto, vol. vii. 1886. 

C. Static cohortis v vigilum (barracks of the fifth bat- 
talion of firemen and policemen), on the platform of the villa 
Celimontana, formerly belonging to the Mattei dukes of Giove, 
and now to baron Richard von Hoffmann. In January 1820 two 
marble pedestals were found near the gate of the villa, standing 
in their original position on a tessellated pavement which formed 
part of the vestibule. The rolls of the battalion, name by name, 
were engraved upon them. The first pedestal had no dedicatory 
inscription ; the second (and the statue upon it) were offered to 
Caracalla in the year 210 by C. Julius Quintilianus, prefect of 
police, M. Firmius, adjutant-general, L. Speratius Justus, colonel 
of the fifth battalion, the captains commanding the seven companies, 
the four physicians and surgeons attached to the barracks, etc. 
The last names engraved on the front of the pedestal are those of 
the captain and of the standard-bearer of the first company, the 
trustees of the fund subscribed towards the erection of the statue. 
The importance of these two documents, however, comes from 
the rolls of the rank and file. " In the year 205, which is the 
approximate date of the first pedestal, the battalion numbered 1 13 
officers and sub-officers, and 930 men. In the year 210 the 
number of the former had decreased to 109, the number of the 
latter had increased to 1013. Taking as the average strength of a 
battalion 1033 men all told, the whole police of the metropolis 
must have numbered 7231 men." ^ The pedestails are still to be 
seen in the villa Mattei at the entrance of the celebrated avenue 
of ilexes between the Casino and the obelisk. Luigi Rossini 
asserts that in the excavations of 1820 the prison of the barracks 
was also found, " as proved by the chains still fixed to its walls." 
Students are kindly allowed to visit the villa Mattei on Thursdays. 

^ Ancient Rome, p. 228. 


Literature. — Kellermann, Olaus — Vigilum latercula duo caelimo?iiaHa. 
Romae, 1835. De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Le stazioni delle sette coorti del Vigili, 
p. 27, in Annal. Inst., 1858, Corpus Inscr. , vol. vi. n. 221, 222, 1057, 1058. 
Bartoli, P. Sante — Metn. 79 in Fea's Miscellan. , vol. i. p. ccxlii. Rossini, 
Luigi — I Sette colli, n. 13. Roma, 1829. 

Connected with the barracks of the Caelian hill were the 
LUPANARIA, mentioned in the catalogues of the second region, 
probably a State establishment, the site of which corresponds with 
that of the vigna Colacicchi, as shown by the discovery of some 
characteristic mosaic pavements m.ade there in 1878. 

VII. The Palaces of the Caelian — 


(Lateran palace). — It is a current opinion that after the execution 
of Plautius Lateranus in a.d. 66 for his share in the plot of the 
Pisones, his magnificent palace on the Caelian was confiscated 
by Nero, and the grounds added to the Imperial domain of the 
domus Aurea. No classic historian speaks of such a confiscation ; 
on the contrary, we are informed by one of them that T. Sextius 
Lateranus, consul in 196, was offered large sums of money by 
Septimius Severus, with the help of which he restored the 
paternal estate on the Caelian. This account is confirmed by the 
discovery made in 1595 of water-pipes inscribed with the names 
of Sextius Lateranus and of his brother Torquatus. Another 
water-pipe, bearing the name of Mammaea, mother of the Emperor 
Severus Alexander, found among the ruins of the palace in 1890, 
seems to prove that the palace had become State property only 
under the rule of the last (a.d. 222-235). ^^ remained so until the 
time of Constantine, who offered part, or perhaps the whole, of it 
to pope Miltiades in 313 ; this, at least, is the date of a council 
of bishops convened in the palace under the presidency of the 
pope. Perhaps it was only a case of a loan, as we find the palace 
called " domus Faustae," the house of Fausta, at a later date.^ I 
do not yet understand clearly myself what happened in those 
days, how the transference of property from the Crown to the 
Church was made, and which portion was transformed into a 
Christian basilica, "omnium ecclesiarum urbis et orbis mater et 
caput." The difficulty arises from the fact that the area of the 
basilica is cut in two by a Roman street, which runs parallel with 
the transept of Clement VIII. (nave Clementina), passes under 
the canopy of Urban V., and leads to a postern in the walls of 

^ Fausta, second wife of Constantine, was smothered by her husband's order 
in 326, and her stepson Crispus was executed on the same day. 


Aurelian still visible in the garden " dei Fenitenzieri." The' ruins 
east of this ancient street are "oriented" with it ; those on the other 
side form an angle of 3 1 °. There were therefore two distinct and 
independent palaces on either side of the street. The one on 
the west was certainly the palace of the Laterans ; the one on the 
east might possibly be identified with the " castra nova equitum 
singularium," epigraphic records of which have been found under 
the Corsini chapel. The nave and aisles of the church would 
occupy in this case the site of one of the courts of the barracks ; 
while the transept and the apse would occupy the site of the 
atrium of the palace. I need not remind the reader that the 
name of St. John the Lateran is comparatively recent, the basilica 
having been dedicated originally to the Redeemer alone. 

Many discoveries have taken place mj-/ of the street mentioned 
above. In 1732 Alessandro Galilei, the architect of Clement XII., 
whilst building the new facade, found walls, cells, water-pipes, and- 
other remains. In the following year the excavations extended to 
the site of the cappella Corsini, and to the vacant space between 
the chapel and the walls of the city. Splendid remains of the 
barracks and of their annexes were found everywhere,^ with other 
sections of the water-pipes mentioned before, bearing the name of 
M. Opellius Macrinus, prefect of the praetorium and commander- 
in-chief of the equites singulares. Other walls, decorated with 
frescoes of no special value, came to light in 1838 in the foundations 
of the " sala capitolare " behind the Lancellotti chapel. In style 
of masonry, in age, and in direction they correspond exactly to 
the remains discovered by Rohault de Fleury and by myself in 
the cellars of the pope's (Sixtus Vth's) palace on the other side of 
the church. 2 

More important are the finds obtained at various epochs among 
the remains of the " egregiae Lateranorum aedes," on the opposite 
side of the street. Flavio Biondo describes those of the time of 
Eugenius IV. (1431-47) on the site of the monastery, west of 
the cloisters of Vassalectus ; and speaks of halls the pavements of 
which were 5 -34 metres lower than that of the church, of colonnades, 
statues, etc. Flaminio Vacca says that when Clement VIII. 
removed and destroyed in 1595 the old presbyterium (un certo 

^ Literature. ^See p. 338 and Venuti, Ridolfino — Descriz. di Roma, ed. 
1803, p. 179. Lupi — Epitaph, sanctae Severae, p. 43. Ficoroni, Francesco 
— Gemmae litteratae, p. 126. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 225, 226. 

■' Braun, YawW—BuU. Inst., 1838, p. 6. Rohault de Y\&\\xy —le latran 
ail moycn age. (Plan g^n^ral. ) Lanciani, Rodolfo — Forma Urbis, pi. xxxvii. 




rialzo innanzi al coro), three large niches were found, pertaining to 























an " edifizio antichissimo e nobilissimo," the pavements of which 
were encrusted with porphyry and serpentine. Fihppo Martinucci 


discovered in 1853 the pavement of the street under the canopy of 
Urban V., as related above. Costantino Corvisieri excavated in 
1873 the neighbourhood of the baptistery. Pius IX, and Leo 
XIIL, whilst destroying the Constantinian apse and building the 
new one, with the sacristy and the chapter-house (1877-90), 
brought to light other remains, described by Stevenson in the 
A7i?ial. Inst.^ 1^77, pis. R, S, T, and represented in the above 
view (Fig. 129). I have tried to express as well as I could the 
results of all these excavations in sheet No. xxxvii. of the Forma 
Urbis. The level of this part of the palace was 7-50 metres lower 
than that of the church. 

Nothing is left visible of the old Constantinian basilica except 
a few bits of the walls which support the roof of the nave. When 
Borromini inflicted upon the nave itself the present hideous trans- 
formation, and encased the columns dividing the nave from the 
aisles in a coating of bricks, he left patches of the original walls 
visible in a set of oval panels between the windows. The ovals are 
now concealed by indifferent paintings on canvas. However, there 
is at least one set of precious relics of Constantine's age which has 
escaped destruction but not transformation : I refer to the four large 
fluted bronze columns of the Corinthian order which adorn the altare 
del Sacramento, at the south end of the transept. The guide- 
books of Rome have suggested various theories about them, the 
current belief being that they belonged in days gone by to the temple 
of Jupiter Capitolinus. Others contend that they were cast under 
Augustus with the bronze beaks of the ships captured in the 
battle of Actium ; others that they were removed from Solomon's 
temple, etc. The columns are mentioned for the first time under 
Constantine, who offered them to the Church to be used as 
" pharocantharoi " ^ on either side of the altar. Clement VIII. and 
Pietro Paolo Olivieri, his architect, found them seriously injured 
and without capitals ; Orazio Censori, the pope's brassfounder, was 
asked therefore to make a tour through the cities of southern 
Etruria and try to collect antique objects of bronze. Hundreds 
of tombs must have been rifled of their invaluable treasures ; at 
Corneto alone Censori gathered 665 pounds of metal, a great deal 
more at Civita Castellana (Falerii). The treasures were melted 
together with pieces of the bronze beams of the Pantheon, and the 
metal was employed in casting three capitals, the whole cornice and 
pediment of the altar, sixteen doves, sixteen stars, and two angels. 
It was lucky that the bronze masterpieces formerly in the campus 
^ Lighthouses, or pillars supporting a circle of lights on the capitals. 



Lateranensis (piazza di S. Giovanni) had been removed to a place 
of safety since the times of Sixtus IV. and Paul III., otherwise 
they would probably have shared the fate of the bronzes from 
Tarquinii and Falerii. 

The mediaeval collection of bronzes at the Lateran comprised 
the equestrian statue of M. Aurelius, removed by Paul III. to the 
piazza del Campidoglio in 1538 ; the she-wolf; the colossal hand 
with the globe; the Zingaraor Camillus; the head of young Nero(?), 
removed to the palazzo dei Conservatori by Sixtus IV. ; and the 
''lex regia," now in the Capitoline museum. The following 
sketch by Martin Heemskerk represents the campus Lateranensis 
about 1534, with the statue of M. Aurelius in its proper place. 

FIG. 130. 

The four columns in the foreground supported a slab of marble 
which was thought to mark the height of the Saviour. Heemskerk's 
view has already been published by T. Springer in 1885.1 

Literature for the Lateran palace. — Duchesne, Louis — Le liber p07itific alls, 
\o\. i. passim. Rohault de Fleury — Le Latran an moyen age. Paris, 1877. 
Cianipini, Giovanni — De sacris aedijiciisa Co?istanti?io7nag?ioextructis. Rome, 
1693. Rasponi, Cesare — De basilica et patriarchio Lateranen si. Rome, 1656. 
Alemanni, Nicola — De Lateranensibus parietinis. Roma, 1756. Miintz, 
Eugene— Z^j arts a la cour des papes, vol. \\\. passim. Lanciani, Rodolfo — 
Bull. Inst., 1870, p. 50; and Itinerario di Ei?isiedle?i, pp. 70 and 102. 
Stevenson, Enrico — Scoperte di antichi edijizi al Laterano, in Annal. Inst. , 1877; 
and Topograjia e uionumenti di Roma nelle pitture di Sisto V. , etc. , plate iv. 
n. 2. 

The bronzes formerly in the Lateran are illustrated in Annal. Inst., 1877, 
p. 381. R'67n. Mittheihingen , vol. vi. 1891, p. 14. Revue arcMol. , xliii. 1882, 
pp. 26, 28. Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide to the Coll. of Class, antiquities, vol, 
i. p. 402, n. 538 ; p. 454, n. 612, etc. 

^ In Gesammelte Studien zur Rjinstgeschichte : eine festgabe zum 4 mai 
\?>2,i^,fUr Anton. Sprifiger. Leipzig, 1885. 


B. DOMUS Vectiliana, a favourite resort of the Emperor 
Commodus, whither he used to repair when suffering from insomnia, 
and where he was strangled in a.d. 192. Its site is not known, 
but it cannot have been very far from the Lateran. The equestrian 
statue of Marcus AureUus, of which we hear for the first time 
in A.D. 966 (when Peter, prefect of Rome, was hung by the 
hair from the horse for his rebelHon against John XIII.), must 
have come from this domus Vectiliana. The house was certainly 
discovered at the time of Ficoroni, about 1735, by a man named 
Giuseppe Mitelli, but the site of the excavation is only indicated 
by the vague formula " nell' estremita del monte Celio," at the 
extreme point of the Caelian hill. 

The family of M. Aurelius and Commodus was closely connected 
with that of the Annii. Annia Faustina the elder, wife of Antoninus 
Pius ; Annia Faustina the younger, wife of M. Aurelius ; Annia 
Cornificia, his sister ; Annius Verus, his son ; Annia Lucilla, his 
daughter, have made the name illustrious in the annals of the 
Empire. By a singular coincidence we find a DOMUS Anniorum 
on the Caelian, close to the supposed site of the Vectiliana in 
which Commodus was assassinated. One of the new streets of the 
Caelian, the via Ajinia, has been named from it. The house is 
distinctly mentioned by the biographer of M. Aurelius, chapter i. : 
" Marcus was born on the Caelian hill, in the family villa (horti), in 
the year (a.d. 121) in which his grandfather Annius Verus was 
consul with Augur. . . . He was educated in the villa in which he 
was born, as well as in the palace of his grandfather, near that of 
the Laterans." The palace of Annius Verus was discovered for 
the last time in 1885-87, on the site of the present military hospital 
(villa Casali). 

Literature. — Bull. arch, com., 1885, pp. 95, 104, 166, 175, 176; 1866, 
pp. 50, 93, 109, 278, 342, 369, 405 ; 1887, pp. 27, 57. Notizie degli Scavi, 
1885-89, passim. See index, Villa Casali. 

C. Domus Tetricorum. — C. Pesuvius Tetricus, one of the 
" thirty tyrants," and the last secessionist ruler of Gaul (a.d. 267- 
274), was defeated by Aurelian at the battle of Chalons, and obliged 
to grace the triumph of the conqueror with his presence. After the 
triumph he was treated with kindness and distinction by Aurelian. 
The biographer who wrote the Tyra?ini trigifita in the first decade 
of the fourth century says : " The palace of the Tetrici, one of the 
most beautiful in the city, is still to be seen on the Caelian, in the 
street called 'inter duos lucos,' opposite the temple of I sis Metellina." 


The site was indicated in the Middle Ages by a church of S, Maria 
i7iter duo or inter diias^ which stood in the valley between the 
Caelian and the Esquiline (cf. Armellini — Chiese^ p. 140). 

D. DOMUS Valeriorum. — There was on the Caelian, between 
S. Stefano rotondo and the Lateran, a palace belonging to the 
descendants of the Valerii Poplicolae, namely to Valerius Severus, 
prefect of Rome in a.d. 386, and to his son Pinianus, husband of 
Melania the younger. The palace was so beautiful, and contained 
so much wealth, that when Pinianus and Melania, grieved by the 
loss of all their children, put it up for sale in 404, they found none 
willing to purchase it : "ad tarn magnum et mirabile opus accedere 
nemo ausus fecit." Seven or eight years after the capture of 
Rome by Alaric, August 410, the same palace was given away for 
little or nothing, " domus pro nihilo venumdata est," having been 
"dissipata et quasi incensa" by the barbarians. There must be 
some inaccuracy in this account, which comm. de Rossi has 
found in a MS. of the library of Chartres. In the first place, a 
considerable part of the property was transformed into a hospice 
and a hospital under the title of " Xenodochium Valeriorum " or 
" a Valeriis," which flourished until the ninth century, and the 
transformation must have been the work of Pinianus himself and 
not of an outsider. In the second place, the house was discovered 
in 1554, I 561, and 171 1 in such a wonderful state of preservation 
that we must exculpate the Goths from the charge of having 
pillaged and gutted it in 410. The account of the finds sounds 
like a fairy-tale. When the workmen entered the atrium of the 
palace in the first excavations of 1554 and 1561, the deeds 
and records of the family, engraved on bronze tablets, still hung 
from the columns of the peristyle. The tablets contained mostly 
decrees in honour of the Valerii, or treaties of friendship with 
their house passed by the corporations of Zama, Hadrumetum, 
Thenae, and other cities of Africa. Four pedestals of statues 
dedicated to Valerius Aradius by the corporations of the Grocers, 
Bakers, etc., were discovered under the portico. The excavations 
were stopped perhaps for fear of undermining the church and the 
monastery of S. Erasmus, or whatever was left standing of this 
celebrated abbey, the mediaeval representative of the old Xeno- 
dochium a Valeriis. Under the pontificate of Innocent X. (1644- 
55), when no traces were left of S. Erasmo, the atrium of the 
palace was entered again, seven " bellissime statue " were brought 
to light, among them two Fauns dancing to the sound of the 
KporaXa : they were purchased by monsignor Mazarino. The 


experiment was tried again under Clement X. (1670-76) with equal 
success. Bartoli mentions statues and busts, among them two of 
Lucius Verus bought by cardinal de Bouillon ; the group of Cupid and 
Psyche, now in the galleria degli Ufizi ; the finest specimens of fresco 
paintings ever seen in Rome ; columns of rare breccias ; and the 
bronze lamp representing a ship with the figure of our Lord at. 
the helm, also in the Ufizi at Florence. 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 1684-94. Bartoli, Pietro Sante — 
Me7n. 53, 54, in Fea's Miscellanea, vol. i. p. ccxxxv. Bellori, Pietro — 
Lucerne antiche, p. 11. De Rossi, Gio. Batt. — // ntonastero di S. Erasmo 
e la casa del Valerii sul Celio, in Studi e docum. di Storia e Diritto, vol. vii. 
1886; and B21II. com., 1890, p. 288. Lumbroso, Giacomo — Notizie di 
Cassiano dal Pozzo, Torino, 1875, p. 50. 

E. DOMUS Philippi, probably of the Emperor M. Julius 
Philippus (a.d. 244-249), which he must have acquired while 
prefect of the Praetorium. The only clue in regard to its position 
is given by an altar {Corpus Inscr. ^ vi. i 50) dedicated by a " servus 
Philipporum " to a local spring, which was found in the slope of 
the villa Mattei, towards the Marrana. Near the same place a 
statue was discovered in 1747 representing a hunter with a hare 
in the right hand, which Ennio Ouirino Visconti attributes to the 
age of the Philippi. The statue, signed by the artist (POLYTIMVS 
lib), is now exhibited in the Capitoline museum. 

Literature. — Ficoroni — Me7n. 91, in Fea's Miscellan., vol. i, p. clxiii. 
Visconti, E. Quirino — Catalogo del museo Jenkins, p. 22. Aube, Pierre — Le 
Christianisme de I'emp. Philippe, in Revue arch., vol. ix. 1880, p. 140. 
Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide to the Collections of Antitjuities, vol. i. p. 370, 
n. 506 (27). 

F. DOMUS L . Marii • Maximi, discovered in February 1708 
in the villa Fonseca. It contained the pedestals of statues 
{Corpus Inscr.., vol. vi. n. 1450, 145 i) dedicated to him, the first by 
an officer of the third legion, Cyrenaica ; the second by a friend, 
Pompeius Alexander. Other pedestals from the same noble 
mansion are described by the Corpus., n. 145 2- 145 3. 

G. DOMUS OF THE Symmachi, discovered in 161 7 in the 
garden of Sartorio Teofili, afterwards included in the villa Casali. 
L. Aurelius Avianius Symmachus, the great scholar, statesman, and 
orator of the latter half of the fourth century, proconsul of Africa 
ifi 3735 prefect of the city in 384-386, consul in 391, speaks 
of this paternal house on the Caelian in Epist. 18 of Book 
vii. : " de Formiano regressus in Larem Caelium." Compare 


Epist. iii. 12, 88. Although constantly exposed to danger and 
disgrace, as leader of the pagan side of the Senate, he never 
diverged from his path. Having been delegated by the House 
in 382 to remonstrate with the Emperor Gratian on the removal 
of the altar of Victory from their council-hall, and on the curtail- 
ment of the sums annually allowed for the maintenance of the 
Vestal Virgins, he was ordered by the indignant Emperor to with- 
draw from his presence and to retire to his villa at Formiae ; and 
yet two years later we find him prefect of Rome, and engaged in 
rebuilding with unusual magnificence the bridge now called ponte 
Sisto (see p. 24). Among the objects discovered in the excava- 
tions of 161 7 we find the pedestal of a statue dedicated to him by 
his own son, and a second set up in honour of his father-in-law 
Virius Nicomachus Flavianus, another great leader of the pagan 
faction. The ruins were searched again in 1885-87. 

I do not remember having ever seen such a scene of devasta- 
tion as that presented by the remains of this palace of the 
Symmachi and of the Nicomachi, Columns, pedestals, statues 
seem to have been purposely hammered and ground into atoms. 
The headless female statue of grey basalt, now in Hall V. of 
the museo Municipale al Celio, was put together by us in 1 896 
out of seventy-four pieces. If we remember that basalt was a 
worthless material to the destructors of ancient Rome, unfit for the 
limekiln and too hard to be worked anew, we must find another 
reason for their treating that noble figure so wantonly. The 
explanation is given, if I am not mistaken, by the discovery of 
another statue broken into one hundred and fifty-one pieces, which 
represented the Victory. When the pagan faction was put down 
for ever at the battle of September 6th, 394, in which the usurper 
Eugenius and Nicomachus Flavianus lost their lives, the recollec- 
tion of the duel fought before Valentinian II. and Theodosius, 
between S. Ambrose on the Christian and Symmachus on the 
pagan side, on account of the statue of Victory, was still fresh in 
the minds of the people. No wonder that, on hearing the news 
of the battle, and of the decisive collapse of the party led by the 
Symmachi and by the Nicomachi, the populace should have 
pillaged their palace on the Caelian and satisfied their desire for 

From this point of view the statue, which we have recalled to 
life out of one hundred and fifty-one fragments, and exhibited 
in Hall II. of the above-named museum, is one of the great 
historical monuments of the fourth century. 




Literature. — Corpus I user., vol. vi. n. 1699, 1782. Mai, Angelo — Script, 
vett. ?iova collectio, vol. i. append, pp. xviii.-xxiv. Morel, in Revue archeoL, 
June 1868. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Ancient Rome, pp. 162-173. 

H. House of SS. John and Paul. — This house and the 
church (titukis Byzantis, titulus Pammachii) built upon it at a 
later period are given a place of honour in early itineraries of 
pilgrims because they contained the only martyr's tomb within 
the walls of the city. The account of the lives of the two brothers 
John and Paul, and of their execution under Julian the Apostate, 
is apocryphal ; but no one who visits the remains of this house 
and the records it contains will deny the fact that some one was 




murdered or executed for his faith here, and that over the 
apartment in which the event took place a church was built at a 
later age. On this occasion the Roman house was left intact with 
its spacious halls and classical decorations to be used as a crypt, 
while the basilica was raised above the level of the ceilings. The 
murder of the saints seems to have taken place in a narrow 
passage (fauces) near the tablinum or reception-room. Here we 
see the " fenestella confessionis " by means of which pilgrims were 
allowed to behold and touch the venerable graves. Two things 
strike the visitor : firstly, the variety of the fresco decorations of 
the house, which begin with pagan Genii holding festoons, and 
end with stiff, uncanny representations of the Passion, of the 


ninth and tenth century ; secondly, the fact that such an important 
monument should have been buried and forgotten 1 until padre 
Germano of the Passionists rediscovered it ten or twelve years ago. 
Padre Germano has given us a delightful account of his work in a 
volume entitled La casa celiinonia7ia dei SS. Martiri Giovanni e 
Paolo scoperta ed ilhistrata. Roma, Cuggiani, 1894. 

This house and another one annexed to the nymphaeum of the 
gardens of Sallust are the only ones in Rome which show the 
third floor in one case, the fourth in the other. The student 
walking up the clivus Scauri, between the house of John and Paul 
on the left, and the house and library of Agapetus on the right, 
may fancy himself transported into the midst of a street scene of 
" declining " Rome towards the end of the sixth century. 

I. House of Gregory the Great. — The Liber pontijicalis 
(vol. i. p. 313, edit. Duchesne) leaves no doubt that the present 
church and monastery of S. Gregorio are built on the site of the 
paternal house of the great pontiff, son of Gordianus and Sylvia, 
of the Petronian branch of the Anicii. The transformation of the 
palace into a coenobium, where Gregory and his associates lived 
under the rule of S. Benedict, seems to have taken place in 575. 
John the Deacon describes it as placed " within the walls of the 
city, on the clivus Scauri, close to the church of SS. John and 
Paul," and as containing an atrium with a fountain of elaborate 
design in the middle (nymphaeum). The spring, called " mirabilis 
immo saluberrimus," was probably the same known in classic times 
by the name of fons Mercurii. The site of the piscina can still be 
traced on the east side of the present church. There was an 
inner court within the clausura, around which opened the cells of 
the monks. The establishment was furnished also with a hostelry 
for pilgrims and visitors, with stables and granaries, and with a 
grand triclinium, in which the monks took their siesta during the 
hot hours of the day. 

The name of S. Gregorio given to the abbey is comparatively 
recent, the old establishment being placed under the patronage 
of S. Andrew. His chapel was splendidly decorated with 
paintings and mosaics. There were also other chapels or oratories 
under the invocations of the Virgin Mary (the S. Andrea of the 
present day) and of S. Barbara (the present triclinium). Save 
a few bits of antique walls, which appear here and there under 
the modern plastering, nothing is left visible of the home of S. 
Gregory and of the monastery " SS. Andreae et Gregorii ad clivum 
^ Pagan and Christian Rome, p. 159. 


Scauri," one of the most powerful in central Italy, and the owner 
of the Circus maximus, of the Septizonium, and of the palace of 
the Caesars. The first blow to the institution was struck in 1573, 
when the Camaldolese monks took the place of the Benedictines. 
Cardinal Scipione Borghese and his architect, Giovanni Soria, 
destroyed the old vestibule and the atrium in 1633 ; all the rest 
was modernised in 1725. I have discovered in the Kupferstich 
Kabinet at Stuttgart a sketch by a contemporary of Martin Heems- 
kerk, representing the Monasterium ad cHvum Scauri before the 
modern profanation. I give here a facsimile of this rare design. 


The two leading edifices of the Caelian hill which remain to be 
described are the temple of the Claudius and the rotunda of S. 

VHI. Claudium (temple of Claudius), begun by Agrippina 
the younger, niece and fourth wife of that Emperor. After the 
murder of Agrippina, which took place in A.D. 59, Nero her son 
took possession of the unfinished temple and turned it into a 
nymphaeum and reservoir for the aqua Claudia, joining it to the 
main aqueduct " ad Spem veterem " (porta Maggiore) by means 
of the arcus Caelimontani or arcus Neroniani, which still form so 


conspicuous a feature of the Caelian hill. After the suicide of 
Nero, A.D. 68, the place was restored to its original use by 
Vespasian under the name of " templum divi Claudii," which the 
people shortened into that of Claudium. A bull of Honorius III., 
dated February 2nd, 12 17, shows that the classic term was still in 
use in the thirteenth century (Clodeum). The causes and the date 
of its final collapse are not known ; but the fact that one of the 
travertine capitals from the substructure was made use of in the 
reconstruction of the house of SS. John and Paul (first door on 
the left on the clivus Scauri) proves that men had already laid 
hands on the noble building in the time of Julian the Apostate 
(360-363), or else of Pammachius, the builder of the church 
( t 410). Flaminio Vacca relates the following discoveries made 
at the time of Pius IV. : "In a vineyard between the Coliseum 
and SS, Giovanni e Paolo the foundations of a building were 
discovered, made of 'grossissimi quadri di travertino,' and also 
two marble Corinthian capitals, one of which was removed by 
Pius IV. to the church of S. Maria degli Angeli, and placed on 
one of the columns of the nave. I remember also the discovery 
of a marble ship 8-92 metres long, and of a fountain splendidly 
decorated with marbles, which, however, appeared much damaged 
by fire." Etienne du Perac mentions the finding of some 
fragments of statues of heroic size, and calls the platform of the 
temple facing the Coliseum the " cemetery of the church of 
S. Gregorio." No words can convey an idea of the beauty and 
peacefulness of the garden of the Passionist fathers which now 
occupies the platform of the temple, and of its secluded paths, 
shaded by ilexes on the west side, and by cypresses on the 
side of the Coliseum. The garden, unfortunately, is under the 
monastic clausura and ladies are refused admittance. The only 
parts of the building visible to all without hindrance are the 
substructures of the platform,^ which, strange to say, differ in 
design and style of masonry for each side of the rectangle. The 
substructures on the west side, upon which stands the beautiful 
campanile of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, are composed of a double 
row of arches in the so-called rustic style so much in favour at the 
time of Claudius (Fig. 133); those facing the Coliseum appear divided 
into receptacles for the storage of water required for some of the 
venationes of the amphitheatre ; those on the via Claudia show a 
succession of square and semicircular recesses, the object of 
which it is not easy to imagine, especially as they are separated 
^ Apply to the sacristan of the church. 
2 A 



from the mass of the platform by a corridor or vaulted passage, 
less than a metre wide, which follows their capricious outline. 
Two Christian churches or oratories have been found hidden, as 


it were, in these substructures. Ciampini speaks ot the first in 
Cod. 7'atic., 7849. In September 1689, while the modern vandals 
were excavating and destroying the northern front of the platform 
for the sake of l^uilding materials, a door was discovered with the 


sign of the cross on one side and a star or "crux decussata " on 
the other. After passing another door on the right, a room was 
entered 7*80 metres long, with frescoes in the apse representing 
the Redeemer giving the scroll of the law not to S. Peter — as 
de iure in early Christian iconography — but to S. Paul. Two 
smaller figures of pope Formosus (891) and of Michael, the first 
converted king of the Bulgarians, were painted at the feet of the 
Saviour. The figure of pope P^ormosus had been carefully 
obliterated after his " memoriae damnatio " at the hands of 
Stephen VII,, his successor. This historical monument was very 
likely destroyed by its discoverers. The second church, called 
" ecclesia S. Laurentii supra S. Clementem," was established in 
the fourth recess (a square with an apse) of the east side of the 
substructures on the via Claudia. Armellini mentions having seen 
traces of Christian frescoes in the apse when first cleared of the 
rubbish in 1881 ; but he and the late comm. de Rossi are mistaken 
in identifying this second place of worship with Ciampini's oratory, 
which opened not on the east but on the north side, and among 
ruins not of brick but of reticulated work. 

Literature for the Claudium. — Jordan, Heinrich — Forma Urbis Romae, 
pi. X. n. 45, Suetonius — Vespas., 9. Canina, Luigi — Indicazione di Roma 
antica, p. 73. Richter, Otto — Topogr., p. 167. P. Germano di S. Stanislao 
— La casa celimoiitatia dei SS. Giovatmi e Paolo, Roma, 1894, p. 19. Du 
Perac, Etienne — J'ed/tte di Roma, pi. 14. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 10,251 a. 
Lanciani, R. — / comciiiarii di Fro)iiiiio, p. 152. GaUi, Giuseppe — Aiinal. 
Inst., 1882, p. 205. 

Literature for the Christian Oratories. — Armellini, Mariano — Chicsc, 2nd 
edit., pp. 135, 513. De Rossi, Gio. Batt. — Bull, crist., 1868, pp. 59, 60; 
and 1882, p. 98. 

IX. Macellum (S. Stefano rotondo). — Comm. de Rossi, in 
his splendid volumes / 7nusaici delle chiese di Roma, and also 
in the I'nemoir already quoted. La basilica di S. Stefano rotondo., 
etc., proposes some architectural and topographical problems in 
regard to this mysterious structure, which, he thinks, is not a 
pagan but a Christian edifice of the beginning of the fifth century ; 
and he brings in support of his theory the authority of Hiibsch — 
Die altchristlichen Kircheji, p. 36 ; and of Rahn — Uspriing des 
Christ L cc?itral-imd Kiippclbaus, p. 53. 

To tell the truth, the theory is strictly Italian, and over a 
century old. See Valadier in Canina's Supplementi al Desgodetz, ■ 
p. 15: '^ Le defaut de documents ne permet pas d'admettre 
I'opinion de Desgodetz, lequel suppose que ce fut un temple 



dedie au dieu Faune . . . il faut le regarder comme rouvrage du 
pape Simplicius I., dedie a S. Etienne et restaure depuis par 

Nicolas v." Valadier's opinion is proved correct by the 
general style of the rotunda, by the quality and variety of its 
columns, capitals, and bases, spoils of older edifices, by the 


crosses cut in bold relief on the cushions of some capitals, and 
above all by the fact that the present edifice rests on the 
remains of an earHer one of the first century after Christ. They 
were discovered by Valadier in or about 1 8 1 4, between the seventh 
and ninth columns of the outer circle on the right of the present 
entrance. Other walls of the best period, profusely decorated 
with marbles, were found six years ago under the adjoining convent 
and garden of the Theresian nuns. However strange may appear 
the fact of great structures being raised in Rome at the end of 
the fourth century, when all resources had given out and the want 
was felt not of the luxuries but of the necessaries of life, and when 
monuments were collapsing in all quarters for want of repairs, it 
is certain that the rotunda of S. Stefano, this alleged temple of 
Faun, of Bacchus, of Jupiter Peregrinus, this alleged IVIacellum 
magnum or Mica aurea of Nero, has lost for ever its position 
among the classic buildings of Rome. Who was then its true 
founder, and what was the true object of its foundation ? 

The Liber po?ttificaUs (i. 249) attributes to pope Simplicius 
(468-482) the dedication " basilicae S. Stephani in Coelio monte." 
For a long time an exaggerated value has been attributed to the 
formulae of the Papal chancery, " dedicavit, fecit, optulit," etc. ; 
and accordingly Felix IV. has been called the builder of SS. 
Cosma e Damiano, Honorius I. of S. Adriano, Helena of the 
" Hierusalem," and Simplicius of S. Andrea on the EsquiHne, 
while they had simply adapted to the Christian worship edifices of 
classic times — the templum Sacrae Urbis, the senate-house, the 
hall of the sessorian palace, and the basilica of Junius Bassus. 
This rotunda likewise, built for civil and public use, underwent the 
same transformation at the hands of Simplicius. Its architecture 
has nothing to do with a place of worship, whether Christian or 
Pagan. It consists of an inner circle of twenty-two columns 
supporting a drum pierced by twenty-two windows ; of an outer 
portico of thirty-six columns and eight pilasters, open to wind and 
rain ; of four open courts ; of four covered store-rooms ; and of an 
enclosure- wall pierced by eight doors. No place for an altar, no 
apse, no presbyterium (see Fig. 135). The names of mausoleum 
and of baptistery have also been suggested, on no better grounds, 
because no burial was allowed within the walls, and no great church 
existed in this part of the Caelian to which the rotunda could be 
attached as a baptistery. We cannot hope to tear away the veil of 
mystery in which this "sfinge celimontana" is wrapped ; at the same 
time we may accept the following points as probable, if not certain : — 



A. The rotunda of S. Stefano stands on the remains of a 
classic edifice of the same architectural type, probably the Macelhcm 
viagmim or "great market-place" of Nero, which occupied the 
middle of a square lined with porticoes and shops. 


Piazza dclla \ Navicella 


B. This edifice of classic times, having come to grief for reasons 
unknown to us, was reconstructed at the end of the fourth century 
for civic purposes, probably for the same use of a market. We 
may cite in support of this idea the contemporary reconstruction 
of the Macelhim Liviae on the Esquiline, at the hands of Valens 
and Gratianus. 


C. After the plunder of the city by Alaric and Genseric, the 
half-deserted Caelian being no more in need of a public market, 
pope Simplicius occupied the edifice and dedicated it — -with some 
slight alterations — to the memory of S. Stephen. This happened 
about one century after its reconstruction as a market-place. 

D. The apse adorned with mosaics, the transformation of one 
of the open courts into a presbyterium and high altar, the closing 
of seven doors out of eight, and the porch over the only one left 
open, are the work of Theodore I. (642-649). 

Ruccellai, who visited S. Stefano in the jubilee of 1450, describes 
the drum and the enclosure-wall as inlaid with finely-cut crusts 
of porphyry and serpentine, grapes and leaves of mother-of-pearl, 
''tarsie et altre gentileze."' These beautiful works of art were 
destroyed in 1453 by pope Nicholas \. 


(Regio hi, " Isis et Serapis") 
(Map, Fig. 136) 

X. The third region occupies that portion of the Esquiline 
ridge which was properly called mons Oppius. The first and 
unique inscription mentioning the Oppian, its compital shrines, and 
its organisation as a w^ard of the city in Republican times, was dis- 
covered in September 1887 in the cellars of the ex-convent of le Cap- 
puccine alle sette Sale — " Mag(istri) et Flamin(es) montan(orum) 
montis Oppi(i) de pecunia mont(anorum) sacellum claudend(um) 
et coaequandum et arbores serendas coeraverunt.'^ The name 
" montani " applies strictly to the inhabitants of the septimontium 
—even to the present day (monticiani) — while those of the sur- 
rounding districts were called " pagani." The yearly celebration 
called by Varro " septimontiale sacrum" was performed on the 
Palatium, Cermalus, Velia, Fagutalis, Oppian, Cispian, and in the 
Subura, in memory of the first settlement of the population in 
those places. The festive groups gathered round the oldest shrine 
of the ward, led by their own popular magistrates and priests. 
The shrines were surrounded by clusters of old trees, such as 
birches (lucus fagutalis), oaks (lucus querquetulanus), laurels (vicus 
Loreti), and so forth. The inscription found on the Oppian shows 
how carefully these historical woods were preserved. ^ 

^ Literature. — Gatti, Giuseppe — Bull, com., 1887, p. 150. 


We do not know what name was given to this third region by 
Augustus, that of Isis and Serapis being of a later age. The 
temple of the two gods (Isium Metellinum ?) stood between 
the via Leopardi, the via Curva, and the via Macchiavelli. It was 
a magnificent structure, rich in masterpieces of Egyptian, Greek, 
and Roman art, and yet the only mention we have of it is a brief 
passage of Bartoli — Mem. 2 : "An Egyptian temple has been dis- 
covered near the church of SS. Pietro e Marcellino, the figures of 
which were designed by order of Cassiano dal Pozzo." And so 
thoroughly did the seicento excavators destroy it that not one stone 
is left in situ. Its marble spoils seem to have been scattered far 
and wide soon after the prohibition of Pagan worship. Many 
hundred fragments were discovered in 1888 under the house at the 
corner of the via Labicana and the via Macchiavelli, having been 
used as building material in a foundation-wall of the sixth or 
seventh century. They represent Jupiter Serapis ; Isis crowned 
with poppies and " spicae " ; Isis veiled with the crescent on 
the forehead ; three replicas of the same type ; and a female 
figure wearing the Egyptian head - dress, probably a portrait 
statue. A figure of the cow Hathor, the living symbol of Isis, 
cut in the rarest kind of spotted granite, was discovered, half 
in the foundations of the palazzo Field via Merulana, half in those 
of the convent of the Sceurs de Cluny, via Buonarroti. A pedestal 
inscribed with the name of the goddess came to light in 1889, a 
few yards from the Coliseum. I may mention in the last place 
the find of another wall in the via Labicana entirely built of blocks 
of amethyst, which seemed to belong to one or more columns. 

The designs of Cassiano dal Pozzo are in England. Some 
small Egyptian figurines are in the Capitoline museum, ground- 
floor, first room on the left. The blocks of amethyst are in the 
palazzo dei Conservatory The altar of Isis is in the museo della 
Terme, and the marble statues in the museo Municipale al Celio, 
Halls II. and V. ; the cow Hathor in the coffee-house of the villa 
Field : 1 

The monuments of the third region, which we must take into 
consideration in this chapter, are the Golden House of Nero, with 
its reservoir called the sette Sale ; the baths of Titus and the 
baths of Trajan, built on the remains of the domus Aurea ; and the 
Flavian amphitheatre, with its annexes. 

^ Literature. — Forma U?-bis, pi. xxi.x. Visconti, Ludovico — Bull, com., 
1887, pp. 131-136 ; and 1889, p. 37. Athenaeum, n. 3191. Notizie Scavi, 
i388, p. 626. 


XI. DOMUS AUREA (the Golden House of Nero).— Of the 
wonders of the Golden House — a park one mile square laid out by 
Nero after the fire of July 64 — it is enough to say that it contained 
waterfalls supplied by an aqueduct fifty miles long ; lakes and 
ponds shaded by ancient trees, with harbours for the Imperial 
galleys; a vestibule with a bronze colossus 120 feet high; 
porticoes 3000 feet long ; farms and vineyards, pasture- 
grounds and woods teeming with game ; zoological and botanical 
gardens ; sulphur baths supplied from the aquae Albulae ; sea 
baths supplied from the Mediterranean ; thousands of columns 
with capitals of Corinthian metal ; hundreds of statues removed 
from Greece and Asia Minor ; walls inlaid with gems and mother- 
of-pearl ; banqueting -halls with ivory ceilings, from which rare 
flowers and costly perfumes fell gently on the recumbent guests. 
More elaborate still was the ceiling of the State dining-hall. It is 
described as spherical in shape and carved in ivory so as to 
represent the starry skies, and kept in motion by machinery in 
imitation of the course of stars and planets. 

Remains of this fairy -like establishment have been found 
during the last four centuries, everywhere the proper depth was 
attained, below the level of the Imperial buildings of a later age, 
in the space between the Palatine and the gardens of Maecenas 
on the Esquiline. Some of the apartments are still visible under 
the temple of Venus and Rome, and in the gardens formerly of 
cardinal Pio di Carpi and of cardinal Marzio Colonna, now belong- 
ing to the ospizio delle Mendicanti. A nymphaeum (Fig. 137) 
encrusted with shells and enamels has just been found (1895) near 
the via della Polveriera, in the same vigna de Nobili in which Pietro 
Sante Bartoli witnessed the discovery of " diverse stanze sotterranee 
adornate di marmi, pitture, fontane, e statue." Giovanni Alberti*"' 
says that in the first half of the sixteenth century a considerable 
portion of the Golden House (ruine del apartameto di nerone) was 
excavated in the vineyard of the monks of S. Pietro in Vincoli, at the 
depth of 9-36 metres, and that there were "most beautiful rooms " 
with stucco carvings on a golden ground and paintings, porti- 
coes with columns of the rarest breccias and capitals of the Ionic 
order, and other such relics. Another wing of the palace, a 
corridor on which opened five guest-rooms, with a rich set of 
mosaic pictures, was excavated in 1668, 5575 metres east of the 
Coliseum in the direction of Trajan's baths. ^ The mosaics, the 

^ Literature on discoveries connected with the Golden House. — Bartoli, 
Pietro Sante — Mem. 3, 51, in Fea's Miscellanea, vol. i. pp. ccxxii. ccxxxiv. 



paintings, and some of the marbles were removed to the Massimi 
palace. The collection was sold by the present prince. 


The principal building of Nero's park lies half- buried but 
almost intact under the baths of Trajan, as shown in the 
accompanying map (Fig. 138). 

It consists of a long row of halls A, A', A" opening on one side 
due north, on a garden B, B', which is surrounded by a portico 
C, C, C", C", and has a fountain D in the centre ; and on the other 
side opening due south, E, E', E", on a great court F, surrounded 
also by a colonnade G, G'. By this arrangement the palace was 
made equally pleasant in winter or summer. When Trajan 
determined to erect a great bathing establishment on the adjoin- 
ing heights of the Oppian, he made use of this noble house to 
support the semicircular portion of the platform on the side 
nearest to the Coliseum. For this purpose he built a series of 
parallel walls, some at right angles with the masses of buildings 
already in existence, some sloping towards them, in the manner 
of buttresses, at an angle of 61°. Trajan's substructures are easily 

Fea, Carlo — Varieta di notizie, p. 124. Giovanni, Alberti — Cod. Borgo S. 
Sepolcro, 40', 41 ; Bull. arch, com., 1895, pp. 174-181. Huelsen, Christian 
— Mittheii., 1891, p. 289 ; and 1896, p. 213. Lanciani, R. — Ancient Rome, 
p. 124; Tiwd Bull, com., 1895, P- 174- 



distinguished by their style of masonry — a perfect specimen of 
opus reticulatum divided into panels by bands of bricks — while 
Nero's walls are all in opus lateritium, with a coating of 

These ruins were first visited by Giovanni da Udine at the 
beginning of the sixteenth century.^ He made a careful study of 
their fanciful paintings, to which the name of " grottesche," viz. 
"found in underground ruins or grotte," has since been given. 


Giovanni's sketches (the originals of which are now dispersed in 
various European collections) inspired his master, Raphael Sanzio, 
to produce the immortal creations of the Loggie vaticane. Only 
a few traces of these celebrated frescoes are now visible in the 
cryptoporticus H, H', on the north side of the garden B, B', and 
in the halls marked A, A'. They help us to appreciate the 
power possessed by the ancient house-decorators to increase the ap- 
parent extent of a limited space by perspective drawings of this kind. 
It seems almost certain that these halls were used, or perhaps 

^ Nibby has found the date 1493 written in one of the rooms by an un- 
known visitor. On the visit of Rapliael and Giovanni Ricamatore to the 
crypts, see Vasari — ]''ita di Giovanni ; and Lanciani, R, — Kendico7tti Lincei, 
1895, p. 3- 


inhabited, even after their conversion into substructures, Hght and 
air being supplied by skyHghts opening in the terrace of the baths. 
Fifteen skylights open on the cryptoporticus H alone. 

A point of interest to the modern visitor is the chapel 
dedicated to S. Felicita at the beginning of the sixth century 
(plan lett. I). Its paintings, now much effaced, have been 
illustrated by Marulli, Piale, Armellini, and copied in facsimile 
by Ruspi. The principal group represented the Saviour 
offering a crown of jewels to felicitas CVLTRIX romana- 
RVM. The heroic woman is surrounded by her seven sons, four 
on the left, siLiANVS, martialis, philippvs, felix ; three on the 
right, VITALIS, ALEXANDER, ZENVARIVS. The names were written 
twice, once in red, once in black letters. The side walls are 
covered with graffiti mostly of the class of " proscinema," or 
devout salutations. One of the legends began with the words 
IV.STINVS DOMO . . . ; another tells us that the doimis was that of an 
Alexander, AAE2ANAP0I0 A0M02 : and as Alexander is the 
name of one of Felicita' s sons, who shared with her the glory of 
martyrdom under Marcus Aurelius, it is highly probable that this 
memorial chapel was consecrated after the peace of the Church in 
the very house in which he lived. 

Literature. — Marulli, Troiano — Lettera sopra u?i' atttica cappella nelle terme 
di Tito. Napoli, 1813. Guattani, Antonio — Metnorie Rnciclopediche, 1816. 
Amati, Girolamo — Cod. vat., (^776, f. 6. Armellini, Mariano — Chiese di 
Roma, p. 136. 

The walls of the Golden House are covered here and there 
with graffiti (published by Correra — Bull, com.., 1895, p. 197), 
which proves that these underground rooms were left permanently 
accessible, and were resorted to for purposes not always lawful. In 
one of the apartments on the left of the (present) entrance door there 
is a latrina, and above it the painting of two serpents coiled around 
a tripos, the meaning of which is to be found in the first satire of 
Persius, v. 127 : pittge duos a7tgues : pueri., sacer est locus ! 

Near the entrance to the cryptoporticus H H', at the place 
marked K, remains are to be seen of a building, destroyed by the 
fire of Nero, and consequently older than his Golden House. The 
cryptoporticus itself was discovered for the first time in 18 13. 
The state in which it was found, with the ceiling most exquisitely 
painted on a white ground, while the walls had received only their 
first rough coating of plaster, and the work of laying the pavement 
had not even begun, proves that this wing of the Ciolden House 


was not finished at the time of Nero's death. The arabesques of 
the ceiHng have been pubhshed by de Romanis in plates viii. 
and ix. of the Canie?r Esquilme. Neglect, damp, and the 
smoke of torches have nearly effaced them. Towards the 
middle of the corridor, on the right hand, there is an altar, and 
above it another representation of the two snakes, with a legend 
declaring in the most crude and undisguised form what the 
symbol of the snakes meant. The text can be found in Nibby — 
Roma antica^ vol. ii. p. 829; and de Romanis — Camere Esquilinc^ 
p. 7. Its meaning is, "Commit no nuisance." 

Other remains of the Golden House are to be seen in the garden 
annexed to the scuola degli Ingegneri (ex-convent of S. Pietro in 
vinculis), under the building called " la Polveriera," and also in the 
vigna Gualtieri and in the villa Field. They are practically in- 
accessible. The villa Field contains also the magnificent reservoir, 
known by the name of Le Capoccie or the Sette Sale, divided 
into nine compartments by eight parallel walls. The nine sections 
communicate by means of four openings through the cross-walls, 
placed not opposite each other but diagonally so as to prevent the 
violent rush of the water from one receptacle to the next. The 
reservoir seems to have been kept in use, first for the baths of 
Titus, and afterwards for those of Trajan. 

The Camere Esquiline are entered by the first gate on the 
left of the (modern) via Labicana. Open every day, Sundays 

XII. Thermae Titianae (baths of Titus). — Classic in- 
scriptions and early ecclesiastic documents mention two great 
baths on the platform of the Oppian, between the Coliseum, 
the Sette Sale, and the basilica Eudoxiana (S. Pietro in vinculis) 
— namely, the baths of Titus, " thermae Titianae," and the baths of 
Trajan, " thermae Traianae." Topographers have discussed the 
question whether the two edifices were really independent and 
distinct from each other, or else whether they \vere but one and 
the same establishment, built in haste (velocia munera) by Titus, 
and rebuilt, enlarged, and embellished by Trajan. The supporters 
of the first theory quoted in their favour the Notitia^ which 
mentions among the edifices of the third region therinas Titianas 
et Traiaitas ; and the inscription of Ursus Togatus, the pilicrepiis 
or juggler of the time of Hadrian, famous for having played with 
a light glass ball in thermis Titi ET Traia?n. Those who believed 
in the one edifice having had two names — that of the founder 


and that of the restorer — quoted the case of the baths of Nero by 
the Pantheon, which became the thermae Alexandrianae after their 
reconstruction by Severus Alexander. I have myself been a 
supporter of this second theory, because, in surveying the platform 
and the slopes of the Oppian for the construction of Sheets xxiii, 
and XXX. of the Forma Urbis, I could not find the proper 
space for two baths of such size in that district. At the be- 
ginning of last year (1895) the question stood therefore in 
these terms. Had the baths of Titus lost their name and their 
identity through restoration and enlargement by Trajan } There 
was no doubt that the extensive ruins, known, described, and 
designed for centuries, between the Coliseum and the Sette Sale, 
belonged to them. The site of those of Trajan — in case of an 
independent building — was vaguely pointed out in the neighbour- 
hood of San Martino ai Monti. 

The question has been since decided theoretically by means of 
a discovery which I have made among the drawings of Palladio 
(formerly at Chiswick, now entrusted to the care of the Royal 
Institute of British Architects, Conduit Street, London), and 
practically by the finding of the propylaia of the true baths of 
Titus in the course of the excavations carried on in the spring of 
1895 on the north-east side of the CoHseum. 

Palladio's drawings prove that on the north-east side of the 
Coliseum (per mezo el colixeo) there were still standing about 
1550 remains of baths which he attributes to Vespasian; that 
their level was 17-50 metres above that of the street surrounding 
the amphitheatre ; that they were approached by stately stairs 
opening on a piazza or platform ; and lastly, that the thermae were 
''molto ruinate," so that in many points his plans and drawings 
were simply conjectural. 

After Palladio's time every trace of them disappeared under 
the increase of modern soil. Valuable marbles were dug up 
about 1590 and made use of in decorating one of the chapels 
of the chiesa del Gesu, and granite columns were found in 1797. 

The excavations for the construction of a new humble quarter- 
especially calculated to disfigure this classic corner of old Rome — 
and those made last year by comm. Baccelli, Minister of public 
instruction, while confirming in the main lines the exactness of 
Palladio's drawings, have enabled us to give a definite place to 
these much-discussed baths in the map of the ancient city, and to 
restore to the adjoining ruins of the Oppian their proper name of 
thermae Traiani. 


Towards the end of the. fourth century the front portion of the 
baths of Titus had already collapsed. An extension of the offices 
of the prefect of the city was built on its site, remains of which 
are still to be seen. 

Literature on the offices of the Prefect. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — Gil cdlficl 
ilclla prefettura urbana fra la Tellure e le ferine dl Tito e di Trainno, in Bull, 
com., 1892, p. 19. Compare Z?////. com., 1882, p. 161 ; B.nd Milfhcl I. , 1893, 
p. 299. 

XIII. Thermae Traiani (baths of Trajan). — No account of 
their construction is to be found in classics, except in a brief 
passage of Pausanias (v. i 2), where the baths " which bear Trajan's 
name," kiTm>v[xa avrov, are placed at the head of the list of his 
works. When the statues of the gods were removed from the 
temples, in which divine honours had been paid to them, and 
distributed among the State buildings of Rome as simple works of 
art, the baths of Trajan received their full share at the hands of 
Julius Felix Campanianus, prefect of the city at the beginning of 
the fifth century. Officers from the staff of the establishment are 
mentioned in Nos. 8677, 8678 of the Corpus Jmcr. : a Philetus, 
"exactor," and an Ireneus, " adjutor thermarum traianarum." 
The extensive ruins did not lose their identity until a comparatively 
recent date. 

The Itinerary of Einsicdloi calls them by their proper name, 
thermas Traiani ad Vincula^ and all the artists of the Renaissance 
adhere likewise to the right denomination. The fault of adopting 
the wrong one has been attributed to pope Julius II., who wrote 
on the pedestal of the granite basin, removed from S. Pietro in 
vinculis to the Vatican Belvedere, the words " labrum . . . ab Titi 
Vespasiani thermis in Carinis ... in vaticanos hortos advexit " ; 
but the legend is correct, the basin having been seen in 1450 by 
Ruccellai on the true site of the thermae Titi, " in una vigna 
appresso al coliseo." The change of name took place towards 
the end of the sixteenth century. 

The history of the destruction of this noble edifice, as I have 
been able to reconstruct it from documents preserved in Roman 
archives, would fill a volume. The monks of S. Pietro in vinculis 
are responsible for it : they sold the marbles to lime-burners, the 
bricks to master-masons, and allowed excavators to tear up the 
foundations of the frigidarium, tepidarium, and caldarium. While 
the architects of the sixteenth century were still able to draw 
their plan and design their shape without difficulty, very little is 
now left standing above ground, either in the garden of the scuola 


degli Ingegneri or in the villa Field. These few remains, a perfect 
specimen of Roman brickwork of the golden age of Apollodorus, 
are well taken care of, and appear to great advantage in their 
frame of evergreens. Students are allowed to visit the beautiful 
grounds. If they wish to single out the various remains which they 
contain, they must remember that the domus Aurea (and the baths 
of Titus) were " oriented " on the meridian line, while the axis of the 
baths of Trajan diverges towards the east by 30°. 

Many works of art have been found in this classic district, but 
it is not possible to say exactly where. The first is the granite 
tazza just mentioned, which was seen by Ruccellai during the 
jubilee of 1450 "in una vigna appresso al coliseo," removed by 
Julius II. "in vaticanos hortos " A.D. 1504, and buried at the time 
of Pius IV. in the " teatro di Belvedere." Its place of concealment 
was pointed out to Paul V. by a master-mason named Battista. Paul 
V. caused it to be restored in 1 6 1 6, and used it as a basin to his 
fountain in the same teatro di Belvedere. Another oval granite 
tazza, 20 palms long, ornamented with rings and lions' heads, was 
seen by the Gobbo da Sangallo at S. Pietro in vinculis in the 
first quarter of the sixteenth century. Its fate is not known. 
Cherubino Alberti speaks of columns of portasanta, africano, etc., 
found and broken (spezzate) on one of the peristyles of Trajan's baths ; 
Ligorio of a statue which he calls " imagine simbolica del mondo " ; 
Vacca of several statues and " infiniti ornamenti " ; Aldovrandi of 
a statue of Hercules discovered by Niccolo Stagni near the Sette 
Sale ; Bartoli of twenty-five statues " di meravigliosa conservazione 
e bellezza" discovered by cardinal Trivulzio in 1547 in the same 
place ; Brunelleschi of an altar dedicated to Jupiter by Vespasian, 
discovered also at the Sette Sale or Capoccie on January 8th, i 509 ; 
Ficoroni of a bronze lamp in the shape of a human head, with its 
wick of threads of amianth, found in 1696. The Laocoon was 
found, on June ist, i 506, in the vineyard of Felice de Fredis at the 
Sette Sale, in a hall which, according to Pliny (//. yV., xxxvi. 4, 11), 
must have formed part of the house of Titus (Laocoon, qui est in 
Titi imperatoris domo, opus omnibus et picturae et statuariae 
artis praeponendum). The group must have been removed by 
Trajan to his own thermae when the site of the domus Titi was 
occupied by the new structure ; but it is also possible that the 
domus may have been allowed to stand as a historical monu- 
ment in the space between the baths and the Sette Sale. Here, 
in fact, some exquisitely adorned apartments were brought to light 
in 1683, the designs and description of which I have discovered 


in the Cabinet des Estampes, Paris, in a volume marked Cj, d, 2. 
A statuette of Pluto, of indifferent workmanship, discovered in 
1 8 1 4 before the chapel of S. Felicita, is now kept in the Capitoline 
museum, Room III., on the ground-floor. 

Literature on the baths of Titus and Trajan, and on the domus Aurea, upon 
which they are built. — Carletti, Giuseppe — Le a?iiiche camere delle ternie di 
Tito, e le loro pitture delineate . . . da Lodovico Mirri (SmugUesviecz and 
Brenna), Rome, about 1780, foHo atlas. Fea, Carlo — Delia casa aurea di 
Nerojie e delta Tone cartularia. Roma, Boulzaler, 1832. De Romanis, 
Antonio — Le antiche camere esquiline dette comutieniente delle terme di Tito. 
Roma, 1822. Canina, Luigi — I?itor?io 2i?i p-ammento delta piaftta viarjuorea 
capitotina, in Memorie romane di Antichita, vol. ii. 1825, p. 119; and 
Edijizi, vol. vi. pis. 202-204. Piale, Stefano — Delle terme traiane, delta domus 
Aurea e delta Titi domus. Roma, Puccinelli, 1832. Vue du palais dori de 
Neroti, tird du Spectacle de I'histoire romaine par M. Philippe, grav6 par 
Ransonette, 1776. Trivulzio, Cesare, in Lettere pittoriche, vol. iii. n. 196, 
p. 231 ; and Sangallo, Francesco, in Fea's Miscellanea, vol. i. p. cccxxix. 
Lanciani, Rodolfo— /'zV/^^?-^^ antiquae cryptarmn romanar., in Bull, com., 
1895, P- 174 ; ^"^^ ^'^i scavi del Colosseo e le terme di Tito, ibid. p. no. 
Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 369, 1670, 9797, 12,995. Jordan, Heinrich — Forma 
Urbis Romae, p. 42, n. 109. 

XIV. Amphitheatrum Flavium (the Flavian amphitheatre 
— Coliseum). — The name "amphitheatre," although of Greek origin, 
dates from the last century of the Roman Republic, and was formed 
and adopted to indicate a new type of public building, strictly 
national, and used for gladiatorial fights — ludi gladiatorii — and 
fights with wild beasts — venationes. Such exhibitions had taken 
place in former times either in the Forum or in the Circus, or 
wherever a free space could be found enclosed by higher grounds 
or buildings from which the spectators could command the view. 
The idea of a special structure was suggested, as the name itself 
implies, by the already existing theatre for scenic plays ; in fact, 
the first amphitheatre, erected by C. Scribonius Curio, the partisan 
of Caesar, for the celebration of his father's funeral games in 46 
B.C., was essentially a double theatre, viz. composed of two theatres, 
" placed on pivots, so that they could be turned round, spectators 
and all, and placed either back to back, forming two separate 
stages for dramatic exhibitions, or face to face, forming an amphi- 
theatre for the shows of gladiators and wild beasts." 1 It was 
not, however, till the fourth consulship of Augustus, 30 B.C., that 
a permanent edifice was erected by Statilius Taurus, in that part 
of the Campus Martins which is nowcalled monte Giordano (Orsini). 

^ William Wayte in Smith's Diet. ofAntiq. , i. 107. Other passages of this 
section are quoted from the same excellent article. 

2 B 




The mound, about 450 metres in circumference and about 20 

metres high, formed by the accumulation of ruins, was crowned 
in the Middle Ages by a shrine or chapel of Michael the archangel, 


to whom other conspicuous ruins (the mausoleums of Augustus 
and Hadrian, etc.) were dedicated ; and this chapel was called 
de Rota^ a special mediaeval denomination for an amphitheatre. 
That of StatiHus Taurus was destroyed in the burning of Rome 
A.D. 64, and we argue from this fact that its shell alone was built 
of stone and marble, while the seats and staircases were of wood. 
The second permanent amphitheatre was built by Tiberius (?) 
at the extreme end of the Esquiline, for the training of the 
Venatores and of " performing " beasts. The design of Augustus, 
however, that an amphitheatre proportioned to the magnitude of 
the capital of the Empire should be erected in the very heart of 
the city, was carried into effect only by the Flavians. Nothing 
can furnish a better example of the prodigal contempt of lalDour 
and expense which the Emperors displayed in their architectural 
works than the selection of its site. 

Hie ubi conspicui venerabilis amphithcatri 
Erigitur moles, stagna Neronis erant. 

Martial's de Speci.^ ii. 3. 

The hollow between the Caelian, the Oppian, the Velian, and 
the Palatine was marshy, damp, unsteady even before Nero's 
artificial lake, the abundance of the local springs being so great 
that any accidental stopping of the drains produces an inun- 
dation. I have already mentioned the event of 1875-78, w^hen, 
after the late comm. Rosa undertook to excavate the arena with- 
out providing in advance an outlet to the flood, the substructures 
were covered by 12 feet of water, which four powerful engines 
could lower only by a few inches. We have no account of the 
means adopted by Vespasian's architect to overcome the difficulty 
found in getting firm foundations, and to give the soil steadiness. I 
have seen them explored but once, in 1864-65, by a signor Testa, 
while searching for the " Frangipani treasure," which, to the best of 
our knowledge, had already been found in 1805 by signor Lezzani, 
while laying the foundations of the buttress (sperone) of Pius VI. 
Signor Testa discovered the upper belt of the substructures, arched 
like those of the ambulacra, above ground ; and underneath them 
a bed of concrete which must descend to a considerable depth. 

" This wonderful building, which for magnitude can only be 
compared to the pyramids of Egypt, and which is perhaps the 
most striking monument at once of the material and the moral 
degradation of Rome under the Empire," was commenced by 
Vespasian, and inaugurated by Titus in the year 80, the event 


being recorded by the medals Cohen Imper. vol. i. p. 359, n. 163 ; 
and p. 362, n. 184.1 An entry in the Chronographer of A.D. 354 
attributes to Domitian the completion of the edifice ; and the 
phrase " amphitheatrum usque ad clypea (fabricatum est) " has 
been interpreted as if Domitian had added the whole fourth storey, 
besides the ornamental work. The statement is contradicted by 
other documents, such as the coins of Titus, mentioned above, 
and the celebrated passage in the Acta Arvalhnn^ which describes 
the LOCA ADSIGNATA IN AMPHITHEATRO (the places assigned) to 
that brotherhood in the first distribution of places, A.D. 80.2 The 
Acta speak of the inaej7ia7tum primiim^ seciindtem^ and of the 
7naeniaiium siininmm i?i Hgneis ; the amphitheatre, therefore, had 
reached its extreme height the very year of its inauguration. The 
event must have been celebrated by one or more inscriptions, 
which are now lost. Hiibner thought he had found fragments of 
them on two or three blocks of travertine used by Severus Alex- 
ander in the restorations of the upper belt, A.D. 223, but professor 
Spinazzola, who climbed to the height of the cornice at the risk of 
his life (March 1896), has found the name of Nerva engraved upon 
the stones ; the inscription, therefore, refers to the restorations of 
Nerva Trajanus mentioned by Pausanias in § xii. 4 of the 
'HAta/cwv. Trajan's work is not recorded otherwise ; and the Vita 
Fit is the only authority concerning the repairs made at the time 
of Antoninus Pius. 

On August 23rd, A.D. 217, Macrinus being Emperor, the 
amphitheatre was repeatedly struck by lightning. The " tabula- 
tiones " of the fourth storey caught fire and the falling embers set 
the floor of the arena ablaze. In fact, there must have been more 
wood and timber in the structure than we generally believe. The 
seven battalions of firemen, helped by the detachments of marines 
from the ports of Ravenna and Misenum, and by a waterspout 
{r^ Tov ovpaviov eTrtppota, TrXetCTTrj t€ kol crcfioSpordTy] yevojjievr] — 
Dion Cass., Ixxviii. 25), did not get the fire under until the stone and 
marble work had suffered great damage — so great, indeed, that 
the amphitheatre Nvas abandoned for many years and the games 
celebrated in the circus. 

^ Compare Donaldson — Archit. nuinism., n. 79 ; and Parker — Colosseum, 
pi. 24, n. I. There is another coin forged by the Padovano. 

2 Literature. — Marini, Gaetano — Arvali, p. 224. Canina, Luigi — Edijizi 
di R. A., vol. iii. p. 26. Hiibner — Ann. Inst., 1856, p. 52. Mommsen, 
Theodor — Ajin. Inst., 1859, p. 125. Henzen, Wilhelm — Acta Arvalium, 
p. cvi. Corpus Inscr.y vol. vi. n. 2059, p. 506. Huelsen, Christian — // 
fosto degli Arvali net Colosseo, in Bull, com., 1894, P- S^S, pi. 15. 


The catastrophe had taken place on the very day of the 
" Volkanalia," August 23rd, the celebration of which had been 
forbidden by Macrinus a few days before. The populace was so 
terror-stricken by the occurrence that the "games of Volcan " 
were re-estabhshed at once. 

Heliogabalus began and Severus Alexander finished in 223 the 
work of reconstruction, the funds being taken from what the 
Italians used to call " fondi segreti del ministero dell' interno," 
The repairs of Severus and Heliogabalus can be examined to the 
best advantage from the upper platform ; they consist of a patch- 
work of stones of every description, trunks of columns, pieces of 
entablatures, lintels, and architraves recovered from the portions 
damaged by fire or taken away from other buildings. The con- 
struction of this upper storey is altogether hasty and negligent : 
the joints of the stones are irregular and the composite pilasters 
are not all straight nor placed on the same perpendicular as the 
columns below. 

In 240 the Emperor Philippus celebrated the millennium 
of the city with the secular games, in the course of which all 
the wild beasts collected by Gordianus the younger in view of his 
Persian triumph were slain. The biographer mentions among them 
30 elephants, 10 elks, 10 tigers, 10 wild lions and 60 tame ones, 
30 tame leopards, 10 hyaenas, 19 giraffes, 20 wild asses, 40 wild 
horses, i hippopotamus, i rhinoceros, besides 1000 pairs of 
gladiators. Another great display of "venationes" took place 
A.D. 281, on the occasion of the triumph of Probus. One hundred 
of the finest breed of lions (iubati) were let loose in the arena 
at the same time. Their thundering roars shook the great 
amphitheatre to its foundations. They were followed by 100 
lionesses, by 100 leopards from Nubia, by 100 leopards from 
Syria, and by 300 bears. The slaughter of these noble animals 
without offering them fair play and letting them fight for their lives 
revolted the assembly; the biographer calls the sight "magnum 
magis spectaculum quam gratum." 

From the time of Decius (A.D. 250), who repaired the damages 
of another fire, to the earthquake of 422 the history of the building 
is not known. We are well informed, on the other hand, about 
the campaign undertaken by slowly spreading Christian influence 
against the gladiatorial shows. In 325, the year of the council 
of Nikaea, Constantine addressed to Maximus, prefect of the prae- 
torium, the constitution Cod. f/ieod.., xv. 12, i, forbidding those 
human butcheries ; but it had no effect. Constantius and Julianus 


on October i6th, 357, and Arcadius and Honorius in 397, renewed 
the injunction with about the same results. They also tried to 
show a great partiality towards the athletes, whose performances 
were, to be sure, less cruel. In 365-375 Valentinian and his 
colleagues raised a statue to a champion fighter named Philumenos ; 
Theodosius did the same in 384-392 to celebrate the deeds of 
another athlete named Johannes (a Christian or a Jew) ; ^ yet the 
old passion could not be uprooted from among the populace. The 
celebrated mosaic representing the " editiones gladiatoriae " of the 
Symmachi (Marini — ArvaL, 165) belongs to the middle of the 
fourth century, and so does the great fighting scene discovered 
near Torre nuova in 1834, illustrated by Henzen in 1845 in vol. 
xii. of the Atti deW accademia roinana di archeologia^ p. 73. 

The only provision of the Imperial constitution which seems to 
have been enforced was that forbidding the magistrates to condemn 
Christians to fight in the arena. In one of his strongest poems 
Prudentius urges Honorius to put an end to the " detestable " 
practice, but the feeble son of Theodosius still hesitated to comply 
with the request. At last, in 404, seventy-five years after the first 
decree of Constantine, the self-sacrifice of Telemachos, who threw 
himself into the arena and was stoned to death by the mob while 
he attempted to wrench the deadly weapons from the fighting 
pairs, induced Honorius to suppress for ever the gladiatorial shows.'^ 
After this memorable year the amphitheatre was used occasionally 
for venationes or, perhaps, for boxing matches, but no further 
mention occurs of gladiators. 

The earthquake of 422, described by Paul the Deacon, must 
have done the building serious injury. An inscription discovered 
by Fea in 1 8 1 3, and now placed in the north vestibule {Corpus^ 
vol. vi. n. 1763), speaks of restorations made by Theodosius II. 
and Valentinian III. between 425 and 450. There are also 
copious fragments of three inscriptions, each 70 or 80 metres 
long, commemorating other work done under the same Emperor 
by Flavius Paulus, prefect of the city in 438. A second 
" abominandus terrae motus " is mentioned in three inscriptions 
bearing the name of Decius Marius Venantius BasiHus, who 
repaired its damages about 508 A.D. These inscriptions are to 
be seen in the same north vestibule. 

^ Corpus Inscr. , vol, vi. n. 10,153, 10,154. 

^ Literature. — Theodoretos, v. 26. Tillemont — Histoire des empereurs, vol. 
V. 533. De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Bull, crist., 1868, p. 84. Meier, P. T.—De 
gladiatura rotna?ia. Bonn, 1881. 


Eutaricus Cillica, son-in-law of Theoderic, gave the last show 
but one in the arena, on the occasion of his election to the 
consulate in 519. Cassiodorus, the king's secretary, says that 
wild beasts were imported from Africa, the sight of which was a 
novelty for the living generation. The venationes of Anicius 
Maximus in 523 are the last recorded in the history of the place. 
Here I must observe that, while repairing the drains and under- 
ground passages of the arena in 1878, we discovered a consider- 
able quantity of bones, which were identified by professore de 
Sanctis as pertaining to domestic animals, like bulls, horses, and 
stags. The discovery shows how insignificant the last shows must 
have been in comparison with those of the golden age. 

The amphitheatre, its shell at least, was intact in the eighth 
century when Bede wrote his famous proverb " quamdiu stabit 
Coliseus stabit et Roma : quando cadet Coliseus cadet et Roma." 
When was it reduced to its present ruinous state 1 By whom, and 
under what circumstances, was this done ? The possibility of a 
spontaneous collapse must be rejected. If we look at the Coliseum 
from the east side, where it appears intact, and consider the 
prodigious solidity of its structure and the clever way its stones 
are wedged and fastened into each other, we are led to discard 
the idea that it could be damaged to any serious extent by age, 
atmospheric agents, fire, or even by earthquakes. Yet it is 
possible that the shaking of the earth might have produced a 
crack like that which cuts the back of the Pantheon in the via 
della Palombella ; and this contingency is even more probable 
if we recollect that while the drum of the Pantheon is solid, and 
1 5 feet thick at least, the shell of the Coliseum is pierced by 
four tiers of arches and windows. The equilibrium once broken, 
the process of disintegration could not be stopped by human power, 
especially when shrubs and plants began to take root in the joints 
of the stones and in the opening of the crack, and to act like 
powerful levers. At the same time we cannot deny the fact that at 
a given moment, the date of which has yet to be fixed, the whole 
of the western half of the shell fell towards the Caelian and gave 
rise to a hill, or rather to a chain of hills, of loose blocks of travertine 
and tufa, which supplied Rome of the Renaissance with building 
materials for the lapse of five centuries. The following view (Fig. 
141) shows the precarious state in which the inner walls of the 
maeniana were left after the collapse of the outside arcades towards 
the Caelian. The date of this event must be restricted to the period 
between 1332 and 1362. On September 3rd of the former year 




the Roman nobility were still able to meet in the arena free from 
ruins, and take part in a bull-fight which cost the lives of eighteen 
young patricians, while nine more were badly mangled.^ In 1362 
the Romans, the legate of pope Urban V., and the Frangipani were 
already quarrelling over the spoils of the fallen giant, " de faciendo 
tiburtinam " with the stones of the Coliseum. The collapse, there- 
fore, must be attributed to the earthquake of Petrarch, which ruined 


so many monuments of ancient and mediaeval Rome, September 
1349. A few years later, in 1386, the S.P.Q.R. made a present of 
one-third of the Coliseum to the " Compagnia del wSalvatore ad 
sancta Sanctorum." The event is chronicled to the present day on 
the walls of the amphitheatre — above the si.xty-third arch, towards 
the Meta Sudans — by a marble bas-relief with the bust of the 
Saviour between two burning tapers (Fig. 142) ; and above arch 

1 Literature. — Muratori, Ludovico — Rerum Italic. Scriptofes, vol. xii. p. 332. 
Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. p. 413. Visconti, Pietro Ercole — 
Spletidore di Roma nel secolo xiv., Roma, 1867, p. 23. 



No. LXV. by the coats of arms of the Company and of the 
S.P.Q.R. painted on white plaster. 

The mountain of stone caused by the fall of the western belt — 
known in contemporary documents as the Cosa, Coxa, or Coscia 
Colisei — ranks first among the petraie or stone quarries within 
the walls. It has taken four centuries and fifteen generations of 
stonecutters and lime-burners to exhaust it. Its history has yet to 
be written. A document published by Miintz in the Revue arch.^ 


Sept. 1876, certifies that one contractor alone, in the space of only 
nine months, in 1452, could carry off two thousand five hundred 
and twenty-two cartloads of travertine, I have discovered a brief of 
Eugenius IV, (i 431-1439) in which he expresses his regret to hear 
that the rapacious hand of Roman masons had been laid even on 
the standing remains of the amphitheatre; and while leaving them 
free " ut de locis subterraneis a Coliseo distantibus lapides evellere 
possint," he threatens them with his wrath if they dare to touch " vel 
minimum dicti Colisei lapidem," There is a tradition, registered 
by Vacca {Mem. 74), that the same pope enclosed the remains 
within a boundary-wall, placing them under the protection of the 


monks of S. Maria nuova ; yet Poggio Bracciolini describes the 
same as "maiori ex parte ad calcem deleta." 

The travertines for the palace of Paul II. (palazzo di Venezia) 
and for the pons AemiHus (ponte Rotto), restored on the occasion 
of the jubilee of 1575, were taken from the same quarry. The 
arena was transformed at the beginning of the sixteenth century 
into a kind of Oberammergau stage, and Passion-plays were per- 
formed among the ivy-clad ruins for a number of years. The 
perspective plan of Jerusalem, painted above the main entrance 
on the side of the Sacra via, is a recollection of these Passion- 
plays of the time of Paul III. (?). At the same time the Cohseum 
served as headquarters to those who believed in witchcraft, one 
of the nocturnal meetings (1532) being described by Benvenutc 
Cellini in the second book of his memoirs. Under Sixtus V. the 
monument ran the risk of being converted into a manufactory of 
woollen goods (1585). The plans prepared by Domenico Fontana, 
the pope's architect, are described by Bellori, and by Fontana 
himself — Delia Transportatio7ie dell' obel. vatic. ^ ii. p. 18. The 
Compagnia del Salvatore rented its part, March 1594, for a 
glue factory ; the contractor, however, was put in prison by the 
S.P.Q.R. and his lease cancelled. On June 28th, 1604, the same 
S.P.Q.R. made a barter with the Compagnia on these terms : 
that the Compagnia would let the municipal administration draw 
from the coscia Colisei as much travertine as necessary to finish 
the building of the museo Capitolino, while the Compagnia in its 
turn was allowed to pull down the famous arco di Basile (over 
which the aqua Claudia crossed the via Caelimontana), to use its 
stones in the building of the hospital del Salvatore. 

In 1639 the S.P.Q.R. transferred to a certain Bramante Bassi 
the right of excavating " within the circuit of the Coliseum," one- 
third of the produce being set apart for the Capitoline Chamber. On 
March 2nd, 1 697, the quarry was placed at the disposal of Domenico 
Ponziani, a contractor for municipal works, on the condition that 
the great blocks of travertine should be triturated on the spot, 
and the chips used in macadamising certain streets. Towards the 
end of the seventeenth century the supply seemed to be exhausted, 
when another accident, the earthquake of February 3rd, 1703, filled 
the quarry with new material. The stones were used mainly in 
the construction of the porto di Ripetta, one of the most graceful 
and useful works of Clement XL, destroyed six or seven years ago 
to make room for the new embankment. The same pope closed 
the lower arches with wooden railings and transformed the glorious 


monument into a deposit of manure for the production of saltpetre. 
Benedict XIV. consecrated the arena to the memory of those who 
had suffered martyrdom in it ; the cross which he erected in the 
centre, and the " stations " or shrines around it, were pulled down 
by Rosa in February 1874. Pius VII. in 1805, Leo XII. in 
1825, Gregory XVI. in 1845, and Pius IX. in 1852 contributed 
liberally to save the amphitheatre from further degradation by 
supporting the faUing portions with great buttresses. The lower 
floor and a portion of the arena were excavated under the French 
administration between 18 10 and 18 14. Other excavations were 
undertaken by Rosa in 1874, which led to the discovery of many 
epigraphic and architectural fragments, and made students more 
closely acquainted with the arrangement of the arena and with 
the management of the venationes. 

The flora of the Coliseum was once famous. Sebastiani 
enumerates 260 species in his Flo7'a Colisca^ and their number 
was subsequently increased to 420 by Deakin. These materials 
for a hortus siccus, so dear to the visitors of our ruins, were 
destroyed by Rosa in 1871, and the ruins scraped and shaven 
clean, it being feared by him that the action of roots would 
accelerate the disintegration of the great structure. 

The amphitheatre does not stand in a commanding position : 
the heights of the Oppian on the east, of the Caelian on the south, 
of the Palatine on the west, of the Velia on the north, surround 
it so as to leave but one narrow outlet for the spring and rain 
water — that of the via di S. Gregorio. The state of things must 
have been even worse in classic times when those heights were 
respectively crowned by the baths of Titus and Trajan, by the 
temple of Claudius, by the palace of the Caesars, and by the 
temple of Venus and Rome. To mend matters as well as the 
local conditions would allow, the amphitheatre was surrounded 
first by a pavement 17*50 metres wide, and then by a street 
which expanded into squares at either end of the longest diameter 
(Fig. 140). The pavement, made with slabs of travertine, was 
lined by a set of stone cippi, each furnished with two pairs of bronze 
rings, through which wooden bars were made to slide (Fig. 143). 
The explanation of this arrangement, and the reason why the 
amphitheatre was provided with this temporary outer fence, must 
be found in the necessity of regulating the movement of the crowd 
on days when there were spectacles. A double control was estab- 
lished on such occasions : one at the gates of this outer fence, at 
which the holders of tickets were admitted in a general way ; 



another at each of the 80 (76) arches of the ground-floor, where 
the number of the maenianum, of the cuneus, of the vomitorium, 
and of the step and the seat marked in the ticket were verified. 


The numbering of the arches begins from the side of the 
CaeHan, and precisely from the first to the right of the west State 
entrance. Nineteen arches are numbered on each of the four 
sectors of the elHpse, making a total of 76, the four State entrances 


not being numbered. Two of these last were reserved for the 
Imperial family and grand dignitaries, namely, those between 
Nos. LXXVI. and I. on the side of the Caelian, and between 
Nos. XXXVI II. and XXXIX. on the side of the Oppian. They 
are more spacious and better adorned than the other two ; in fact, 
the (once) painted and gilded stucco reliefs on the walls and on 
the vault of the east passage rank among the finest specimens of 
Roman decorative art, and have been studied with delight by the 
artists of the Renaissance. I have found copies of them in the 
Queen's library at Windsor Castle {Cod. Vinceiizo Vifforia, f. 24) ; 
in vol. xi. f. 29 of the Laing collection in the Royal Scottish 
Academy, Edinburgh ; in box of drawings No. IV. at Chatsworth, 
the duke of Devonshire's seat in Derbyshire ; and in plates 40 
and 61 of Destailleur's album in the Kunstgewerbe museum, Berlin. 
Very few visitors of the Coliseum are aware of their existence. 

On entering the great building we must direct our investigations, 
first, to the way in which the vast crowds of spectators were 
handled, directed, and distributed over the seats on exhibition 
days ; secondly, to the arrangement of the arena and of its sub- 

The official Almanack of 354 says that the amphitheatre could 
accommodate 87,000 spectators. Prof Huelsen, considering that 
there is certainly no room for more than 45,000 people, perhaps 
for 50,000 if we take into consideration the ptillati who stood 
looking at the performance from the top of the attic, attributes 
to the term LOCUS (amphitheatrum capit loca lxxxvii) the 
signification not of "place" or "seat" but of "length in feet." 
In other words, the Coliseum contained, according to prof. Huelsen, 
87,000 feet of seats, each spectator occupying a space of 18 or 20 
inches.^ There was accommodation, therefore, for only 50,000 
people. Such a crowd is, at all events, very large and difficult 
to deal with, and the most minute precautions were taken 
to direct its movements towards the place of destination, and 
again towards the exits when the show was over. The entrances, 
staircases, passages, and vomitories were contrived with such 
exquisite skill that each person, whether of the senatorial, of the 
equestrian, or of the plebeian order, could gain his seat without 
trouble or confusion. An ivory ticket for the amphitheatre of 

^ The word locus, in its genuine signification oi place or seat, is still in use 
in Rome. The cry of men offering places and seats for hire on the occasion 
of a public pageant or exhibition of any kind is, " ecco sedie, ecco Lochi," 
" here are chairs, here are places." 


Frusino is said to be labelled "the sixth cuneus, lowest row, seat 
No. 1 8 " ; in those for the Coliseum the number of the entrance 
arch must also have been specified, and, indirectly, that of the 
stairs leading to the proper maenianum. 

The seats of honour were on the ledge above the podium, as 
the nearest to the arena and the most accessible from the four State 
entrances. The ledge could contain only three rows of (marble ?) 
thrones, some of which, transformed into episcopal chairs in our 
mediaeval churches, are still in existence (S. Stefano rotondo, 
S. Gregorio, the biga of the Vatican museum, etc.) Cushions 
or "pulvini" had come into fashion since the time of Caligula, 
before the amphitheatre was built. 

No trace is left of the Imperial " suggestum," nor of the 
" cubicula " connected with it. The balcony or pulpit (editoris 
tribunal) reserved for the magistrate who exhibited the games has 
also disappeared. We have, on the other hand, many epigraphic 
records of the places pertaining to senators, knights, high priests, 
ambassadors, guests of the S.P.Q.R., etc., according to the distribu- 
tion made a.d. So by the Imperial commissioner Manius Laberius 
Maximus, assisted by an officer named Thyrsus. The places were 
not assigned to individuals, but collectively to the body or college 
or corporation to which they belonged ; for instance, " to the ex- 
consuls, one hundred and ten feet," or, " to the school teachers, 
. . . feet." Towards the middle of the fourth century this division 
by classes was given up, and spaces for one or more seats were 
permanently occupied by the same individual or by the same 
family, whose name was accordingly engraved on the marble 
pavement or on the parapet of the podium ; and as families were 
extinguished in the course of years and individuals died away the 
names were erased, and those of the new-comers engraved. Some 
of the marble slabs appear to be reduced to half their original size 
by this process of erasing and substituting names. The following 
cut (Fig. 144) represents one of the steps from the senatorial 
ranks (?), with the name of an Insteius most negligently cut upon 
it. I have published in the Bull. coin, of 1880 one hundred and 
ninety-three inscriptions of seats, and a few more have been dis- 
covered since. The "Corpus inscriptionum " of the Flavian 
amphitheatre numbers over two hundred and sixty specimens, 
which, if properly arranged and exhibited on the spot, would revive 
its history and make us conversant with details which it is difficult 
to make out from books and manuals. The amphitheatre, in fact, 
is not so poor in architectural or ornamental marbles as we make 


it appear to be. It would be an easy and also a most useful and 
noble undertaking to put back these marbles into their proper 
places, and fully restore one of the " cunei " of this wonderful 
structure. There are about forty shafts of columns belonging to 
the upper loggia, and as many capitals of the Corinthian order, 
some of the time of the Flavians, others of the fourth century ; 
there are hundreds of marble steps and seats, and many exquisite 
screens or parapets once placed on the side or above the vomitoria; 
there are inscriptions making the round of the edifice ; and yet all 


these valuable materials are allowed to lie useless and scattered 
in great confusion, and some pieces have actually been taken 
away and removed I know not whither. 

The arena or central open space, where the shows took place, 
derived its name from the sand with which it was covered for the 
purpose of absorbing the blood. Such Emperors as Caligula, 
Nero, and Carinus showed their prodigality by using cinnabar 
and borax instead of the common arena. It was composed of a 
boarded floor supported by beams which rested on a series of walls, 
some parallel with the main axis, some following the curve of the 
ellipse (see Fig. 145). A great piece of wooden floor was discovered 




in the excavations of 1874 at the bottom of the middle corridor, as 
shown in the following illustration, but we are not sure whether 


it did really belong to the arena or to the floor below it. I am in 
favour of the second surmise, and I belie\e that when the sub- 
structures of the amphitheatre became damp and wet on account of 


the neglect in keeping the drains in repair, the old floor of opus 
spicatum must have been covered with a floor of wood resting on 
those supports of stone which appear so distinctly in the illustra- 
tion above. Every trace of the woodwork has been allowed to 
disappear since 1874. In the same excavations of 1874-75 the 
sockets were discovered to which windlasses, capstans, or lifts 
(pegmata) were fixed, by which the cages of wild animals were 
raised to the level of the trap-doors of the arena. Lifts, cages, 
and trap-doors are represented by Parker in plate xvi. of his work 
on the Coliseum. We must not suppose that the animals could 
be kept for any length of time in the dark and stuffy dens below 
the arena or the podium. They were kept in readiness in the 
west porticoes of the Claudium, and brought up as they were wanted 
in rolling cages. From this point of view — that is, from the point 
of view of exhibition of gladiatorial or hunting shows — the Coliseum 
appears to us as the capital of a kingdom of its own, as the centre 
of a vast administration, with branch offices in Syria, in Africa, on 
the Red Sea, and head offices in Rome itself occupying large tracts 
of the second, third, fifth, and sixth regions. 

Literature. — Lipsius, Justus — De amphitheairo, in Graevii Thesaur. , vol. 
ix. p. 1292, chs. xi. -XV. Suarez, Giuseppe — Diatriha de forainirnbus lapidum 
inpriscis aedificiis. Roma, 1651. Fontana, Carlo — L anjiteatrojlavio descritto 
e delineato. Aia, 1725. Maffei, ^c\'p\one—De gli anjiteairi. Verona, 1727. 
Marangoni, Giovanni — Delle memorie sacre e profajie dell' anjit. Jlav. Roma, 
1745. Fea, Carlo — Osservazioni sulV arena e stilpodio dell anJit. Jlav. Roma, 
1813 ; Nuove osservazioni, Roma, 1814 ; and Notizie degli Scavi dell' anfif. 
/lav. Roma, 1813. Nibby, Aniomo— Roma antica, vol. i. p. 529. Canina, 
Luigi — Edifizii di Roma, antica, vol. iii. p. 23 ; and vol. iv. pis. 164-177. 
Hiibner — Iscrizioni esistenti siii sedili dei teatri ed anjiteatri, in Annal. Inst. , 
1856, p. 52, pi. 12. Tocco, Effisio — DclV anft. Jlav. e dei gladiatori, in 
Buonarroti, 1869 and 1870. Gori, Fabio — Le memorie storiche dell' anJit. 
Jlav. Roma, 1874. Parker, Henry — The Flaviaft. Amphith., Oxioxd, 'London, 
1876. Marquardt, Joachim — Staatsverwaltung, vol. iii. p. 462. Lanciani, 
Rodolfo — Iscrizioni dell' anj. Jlav., in Bull, com., 1880, p. 211, pis. 
xxi. -xxiii. Huelsen, Christian — Bidl. com., 1894, p. 312. 

XV. Connected with the venationes were the Vivaritun., the 
a7nphitheatrum Casfrense, and the Claudium; with the gladiatorial 
shows, the Samiarium^ Spoliariiun., Armajne?jtarhi7n, the ludi/s 
Mag/ius, I. Dacicus., L Mahttiniis : with athletic sports, the Curia 
athleiarum; and lastly, with shows in general, the castra Misenatiiim 
(and Raveji?iatiuni ?). 

Vivarium, a large rectangle built on the type of a Roman 
camp, on the south side of the castra Praetoria. (See Forma Urbis, 
pi. xi.) It was composed of an enclosure-wall built of great blocks 

2 C 




of stone like that of the barracks of the second legion, Parthica, 
at Albano ; and of a row of cells against it, where the menagerie 
was kept. A " euripus " or channel, with plenty of flushing water, 
ran in front of the enclosures. The barracks of the "venatores' 
and of the "custodes vivarii," a special detachment of the Praetorians 
to which the care of the establishment was entrusted, occupied prob- 
ably the centre of the rectangle. 

The Vivarium, separated from the Praetorian camp by a street 
starting from the "porta Chiusa" of the walls of Aurelian, is 
mentioned very often in mediaeval documents, under the name of 
" Vivariolum," and its remains appear in plans and perspective 
views of Rome of the sixteenth century, as of an edifice of great 
importance. Its last traces disappeared in 1876. See Procopius 
— Goth.^ i. 22. Corpus Inscr.^ vi. 130. Btill. arch. com.. 1876, 
p. 188. Forma Urbis Romae, pi. xi. 


Amphitheatrum Castrense, a small amphitheatre built at 
the extreme end of the Esquiline for the training of the " venatores," 


and also for the taming and training of animals destined to 
perform special feats in the arena. Its construction has been 
attributed to Tiberius, like that of the Praetorian camp, but con- 
sidering that at the time of that Emperor there was no State 
amphitheatre in Rome — that of Statilius Taurus being private 
property — I am inclined to date it to a much later period, possibly 
to the times of Severus and Caracalla. Aurelian and Honorius 
included part of the edifice in their line of walls. In the sixteenth 
century Palladio was able to measure it in its entirety, as shown by 
the drawing in the possession of the duke of Devonshire, which 
is here reproduced for the first time (Fig. 146). 

Since Palladio's time the amphitheatre has suffered great 
damage. The upper floor has disappeared, and so have the 
maeniana and the steps which surrounded the arena. The arena 
has been excavated at least six times, Ficoroni {Roma antica^ 
p. 121) speaks of discoveries made towards 1740 by the prior of 
Santa Croce concerning the crypts, which were full of " ossa di 
grossi animali." Other excavations made in 1828 led to no 

The present remains of the amphitheatre are seen to the best 
advantage from the strada delle Mura, between the porta S. 
Giovanni and the porta Maggiore. 

Literature. — Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. p. 399. Becker, Adolf 
— De Muris, pp. 120, 121. Lanciani, Rodolfo — / conientaril di Frontino, 
p. 217, n. 34, 35. 

Claudium. — The Vivarium being one mile and a quarter dis- 
tant from the Coliseum, the beasts destined for a special " venatio " 
were removed (I suppose by night) to a place much nearer to the 
show, viz. to the substructures of the temple of Claudius by SS. 
Giovanni e Paolo, which communicated with those of the arena 
by means of an underground passage. This passage can still be 
seen ; it enters the amphitheatre by the fifth arch on the right of 
the v/est State entrance, and leads to the lifts and to the trap-doors 
described above. (See Fig. 140, p. 370.) 

The Samiarium— a name otherwise unknown — is described by 
some as a temporary hospital where the wounded gladiators were 
given first aid, and by others as the factory in which the weapons 
for gladiatorial fights were made or repaired. 

The Spoliarium corresponds to the " Morgue," to which the 
bodies of those who had fallen in the arena were removed. 

The Armamentarium must be understood as the arsenal or 


fv<uc,v.^,?-v.rr.'b c-\ tu. 

tCj VVc«^ 

'armoury where the bucklers (parmae) and the short crooked 
cutlasses (sicae) of the T/ireces, the shields (scuta), crested 
helmets (galeae cristatae), wadded breastplates (spongiae), and 
greaves (ocreae) of the Samm/es, the coats of mail of the 
Hoplomachi^ the nets (iacula) and three-pointed spears (fuscinae) 
of the Retiarii^ were kept. The pedestal Corpus n. 999 must 
have been found among the ruins of the Armamentarium. The 
site of these three buildings is only approximately known. 

Regular academies, called LUDI Gladiatorii or simply LUDI, 
were instituted for the training of prize-fighters, under the care of 
a " lanista." The " tirones," or undrilled novices, were instructed 

in the principles of their art, and 
made to practise with heavy wooden 
swords called " rudes," while their 
bodies were brought into condition 
by regular exercise and special food 
(sagina). Many of these ludi were 
kept by private speculators, who sold 
or let out for hire the " paria gia- 
diatorum " exhibited in country towns ; 
but the Roman ludi were a regular 
Imperial institution, managed by Im- 
perial officers. There were four of 
them, the Magnus, the Gallicus, 
the Dacicus, and the Matutinus. 
The first is represented in fragment 
i. 3 of the marble plan ; its remains 
were excavated by Reinach in 1875, in the level stretch of ground 
at the corner of the via Labicana and the via delle Sette Sale. 
(See Forma Urbis^ pi. xxx.) It contained an oval ring surrounded 
by porticoes and by rows of cells. The ludi Gallicus and 
Dacicus were named after the nationality of the gladiators 
trained in them. The Matutinus is not considered by Preller 
as a school of gladiators, but as a place where the venationes 
were prepared, because these were exhibited in the morning, 
whilst the gladiatorial shows took place at a later hour of the day. 
The Chronicle of Cassiodorus attributes to Domitian the institu- 
tion of the 1. Matutinus, whilst the Catalogue of Ekkardt makes 
him responsible for the institution of all four, as a necessary com- 
plement to the great amphitheatre which his father had begun and 
his brother had continued. 

These establishments were under the management of a large 

FIG. 147. 


staff of officers, like the M. Ulpius Callistus, praepositus arma- 
7nentario ludi magni ( Corpus^ n. i o, 1 64 ) ; Tigris, cursor (n. i o, 1 6 5 ) ; 
Nymphodotus, ^//j^^;?i-<2/^r (n. 10,166); M. Calpurnius, inedicus^ 
etc., directed by a governor or procurator familiae gladiatoriae 
Caesaris hcdi viagiii^ selected from the equestrian ranks. We 
hear also of a curator Spoliarii, of a inedicus ludi Matiiti7ii 
chirurgiis^ of a medicics I. Gallici^ etc. 

The SUMMUM ChoragiUxM, placed between the castra Mise- 
natium and the ludus Magnus, was also an annexe to the amphi- 
theatre, but nothing is known about its name, origin, and special 
appointment. Its staff of officers was even larger and of a higher 
standard than that of the ludi. (See Corpus Iitscr.^ vol. vi. n. 297, 
776, 8950, 10,083-10,087.) Canina thinks that it was a repository 
for the " pegmata " or machinery and scenery recjuired for the 

The CASTRA MiSENATlUM were the barracks of the marines 
from the fleet of Misenum, called to Rome for the manoeuvring of 
the velarium or awning of the amphitheatre. The site of these 
buildings, between the baths of Trajan and the summum Chora- 
gium, was discovered on March 9th, 18 12. In 1888, however, 
the whole line of cells forming the south side of the quadrangle 
was brought to light when the drain of the via Labicana was 
opened. {SG.e Forma Urbzs, ^\. xxx. Corpus^ \\. \o<^\. Kaibel — 
hiscr. gr. Itat., 956.) 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr. , vol. vi. 6, 631, 632, 1063, 1064, 1091. Henzen, 
Wilhelm — Ami. hist., 1862, p. 64 ; and Atli Accad. pontif. arch., vol. xii. p. 
73-157- Mommsen, Theodor — He?-tnes,w. 303. Jordan, Heinrich — Topogr., 
ii. n6 ; and Forma, pi. i. n. 5. Marquardt, Joachim — Staatsvenvaltung, 
vol. i. p. 538. Marini, Gaetano — hiscr. albane, c. 12. Venuti, Ridolfino — 
Marmora albana. Roma, 1756. Scutillo, Domenico — De collegio gladiator. 
Roma, 1756. Canina, Luigi — Indie. Topogr., p. 112. 

The CURIA Athletarum or HY2TIKH 2YN0A02 was 
discovered in February 1569, and again in 1 660-1 661 and 1713- 
17 16, in the garden of S. Pietro in vincoli, on the north-east side 
of the baths of Trajan, where remains of their meeting-hall can 
still be seen (villa Hickson Field). These remains, as well as the 
athletic brotherhood who had here their headquarters, have been 
illustrated by — 

Ligorio, Pirro — Cod. torin., xv. 95. Falconieri, Ottavio — hiscr. athl. Romae 
repertae. Romae, 1668. Kaibel — Inscr. gr. Sicil. et Ital., n. 1102-1110. 
Corpus Inscr. Lat. , 10,153, 10,154, 10,161. Ricci, Serafino — La curia Athle- 
tarum, in Bull. arch, com., 1891, p. 185, pi. vii. 



(Regio IV) 

XVI. The fourth region of Augustus, named Sacra via from the 
historical street which formed its south-western boundary, extended 
over the Viminal and the Cespian as far as the present railway 
station. The Notitia and the Ctiriosum give the fourth region a 
circumference of 13,000 feet (3861 metres), and say it' contained 8 
parishes, 2757 tenement houses, 88 palaces, 65 baths, 81 fountains, 
and I 5 bakeries. Its principal edifices, the temples of Venus and 
Rome, of the Sacra Urbs, of Romulus, of Antoninus and 
Faustina, the basilicae Aemilia and Constantiniana, the colossus 
of Nero, the forum Transitorium have been already described. 
There are no important remains visible in the other part of the 
region, nor excavations of any kind ; but a Avalk through the 
Argiletum (via della Madonna de' monti), the Subura (via 
Leonina), the clivus Suburanus (via di S. Lucia in sihce), and 
the vicus Patricii (via Urbana) cannot fail to attract the student 
on account of its classic associations, and also of the great dis- 
coveries which have taken place in the adjoining districts. 

XVII. SUBURA. — The Argiletum was the great book-market, 
the "Paternoster Row'^ of ancient Rome. Here the " librarii " 
and the " antiquarii," booksellers and copyists, kept their well- 
furnished shops, so often mentioned by Martial and Horace. 
Advertisements giving the title and price of literary novelties were 
hung on either side of the entrance door. Each of the leading 
booksellers secured the privilege of the works of a leading author : 
the Sosii brothers were the agents for Horace, Atrectus and 
Secundus the publishers of Martial, Tryphon of Quintilian, and 
Dorus of Seneca. (See Ancietit Roine^ p. 183.) 

The Subura is generally considered to have been the noisiest, 
the most vulgar and licentious street of the city. Martial calls it 
" clamosa," and Juvenal says he preferred living in the island of 
Procida rather than in such a rowdy neighbourhood ; and yet 
historical personages did not disdain to live in it, Julius Caesar 
(Sueton., 46) and L. Arruntius Stella (Martial, xii. 3) being 
among them. 

The long street was divided into sections. First came the 
fauces Suburae, called also the priina Subura. Then we hear of 



a Subura maior^ (the rendezvous of pickpockets, who would 
assemble at the close of the day in its dark alleys to dispose of the 
produce of their thefts), which seems to call for a Subura ini?tor. 
There was also a tract called ad tiirrim Mamiliam. We hear of 
this place in connection with the contest between the Suburanenses 
and the Sacravienses for the possession of the head of the horse 
which was slain in honour of Mars on October 15 th, at a place 
called " ad Ciconias nixas " near the Trigarium. If the bloody 
trophy remained in the hands of the Sacravienses it was to be affixed 
to the walls of the Regia ; if the Suburanenses gained the contest it 
was to be affixed to the turris Mamilia. The steep gradient at the 
top of the valley, now called salita di S. Lucia in silice, is described 
by Martial as a bad bit of road, with the pavement always wet 
and slippery, and crowds of beasts of burden dragging heavy loads 
towards the uplands of the Esquiline. 

alta Suburani vincenda est semita clivi 

et numquam sicco sordida saxa gradu : 

vixque datur longas mulorum rumpere mandras, 

quaeque trahi multo marmora fune vides. (v. 22, see x. 19.) 

Ancient epitaphs speak of a Q. Gavius, crepidarius de Subura 
(shoemaker) ; of a Crescentio, ferrarius de S. (ironmonger) ; of a 
L. Marius, lanarius de S. (merchant of woollen goods) ; and of a 
M. Livius, praeco (public crier). The name has survived in the 
present " piazzetta della Suburra," and in the churches of S. 
Agata, S. Barbara, S. Bartolomeo, and S. Salvatore. 

Literature. — Jordan, Heinrich — Forma Urbis, pi. ii. 8. Corpus Inscr., vol. 
vi. n. 1953 (1956), 9284, 9399, 9491, 9526. Bull. arch, com., 1888, p. 398. 
Martinelli, Ploravante — Diacon. S. Agathae. Romae, 1617. Corpus Inscr., 
voluminis i. editio altera, 1893, p. 332. Sarti, Emiliano — A?-chivio Societd 
storia patria, vol. ix. p. 20. 

Near the top of the ascent the clivus Suburanus was crossed 
by the vicus Sobrius. The compital shrine which stood at the 
junction of the two streets was discovered in April 1888 (corner 
of via di S. Martino and via dei Ouattro Cantoni), and I have 
described and illustrated it in Pagmt and Christia7i Rome., p. 34. 
The inscription on the face of the altar, still left standing, says 
" the Emperor Augustus dedicated this shrine (and statue) to 
Mercury, in the year of the city 744, from money received as a 
new-year's gift, while absent from Rome." The statue was nick- 
named Mercurius Sobrius, " Mercury the teetotaller." 

^ " Donatus qui manet in Sebura (m)aiore ad nimfa(s)." Corpus hiscr., 
vol. vi. n. 9526. See also the Schol. Crucq. ad Horat. Sat. i. 6, 116. 


XVIII. Vicus Patricii. — The Subura bifurcated at the foot 
of the ascent. The branch on the left ran up the valley between 
the Viminal and the Cespian, took the name of vicus Patricii in 
the lower tract, of clivus Patricius in the upper, between our piazza 
dell' Esquilino and the railway station. The street, already 
famous in the classic age, continued to enjoy the same privilege 
in Christian times, on account of the house of Pudens in which the 
first Roman converts had met for prayers. Pudentiana, Praxedes, 
and Timotheus, daughters and son of Pudens, obtained from Pius I. 
the privilege of transforming their house into a regular parish 
assembly (titulus Pudentis, afterwards ecclesia Pudentiana). Some 
pieces of household furniture which had been used by the " prince 


of the apostles " were preserved in it. The Liber pontif. says that 
the church occupied part of the baths of Novatus, but the remains 
of ancient walls which can still be seen under the present church can 
hardly be attributed to a Roman thermae : they pertain to a building 
of a more modest nature and dimensions. (See Parker's " Plan of 
the subterranean chambers of the palace of the Pudens family " 
(sic), and sheet xvii. oi vay Forma Urbis.) At the same time there 
are two documents proving the existence of thermae in this very 
district of the vicus Patricii : the inscription quoted by de Rossi 
{Bjill. crist., 1867, P- 55) — MAXIMVS HAS OLIM THERM^i" . . . 
DIVINAE MENTIS DVCTV CVM . . ., and a fragmentary plan by 
Sallustio Peruzzi ( UJlsi^ n. 65 4), of which the above is a reproduction. 
Sallustio calls these remains "balneum apud S. Pudentianam," 
a bath near S. Pudentiana, and says that the street or path leading 
in the sixteenth century to the baths of Diocletian passed through 


them. This noble hall or caldarium, with its semicircular recesses, 
and niches for statues, and strong walls, may well have formed 
part of the baths of Timotheus or Novatus mentioned in Church 
documents. The connection of this group of buildings with the 
apostolate of SS. Peter and Paul made it very popular from the 
beginning. Pope Siricius (384-397), his acolytes Leopardus, 
Maximus, and Ilicius, and Valerius Messalla, prefect of the city 
(396-403), contributed to transform the old meeting-place into a 
handsome church, and to make the vicus Patricii one of the best 
streets of the city of the decadence. An inscription discovered in 
1850 in the villa Caserta, via Merulana, says : " Ilicius, priest, has 
built at his expense the arcade (represented in the mosaic of the 
apse of the church, and still existing half-buried under the houses to 
the left of the via del Bambin Gesu) which you see connecting the 
memoria sancti martyris Hippolyti with the ecclesia Pudentiana." 
The memoria of S. Hippolytus is now represented by the church of 
S. Lorenzo in fonte ; ^ the arcade of Ilicius was therefore 400 
metres long, such being the distance between the two edifices 
at each end. The work of the worthy priest was not remarkable 
for its solidity ; because a few years later another devout man, a 
patrician, an ex primicerius notariorum Sacri Palatii, was compelled 
to rebuild it from the foundations : detersis SQVALORIBVS porticvm 
A FVNDAMENT is retiovaint. (See Corpus Inscr.^ n. 1790.) It had 
probably been damaged by the Goths of Alaric in August 410. 
Another inscription {Ibid., i 775) speaks of other work of embellish- 
ment done by Valerius Messalla, prefect of the city, ad splendorem 


Literature. — Jordan, Heinrich — Foryna Urbis, pi. ii. n. 9. De Rossi, Gio. 
Battista — Dull, crist. , 1867, p. 43, sq. ; and Mosaici delle chiese di Roma, 
fasc. xiii. xiv. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Pagan and Chr. Rome, p. 112. Celio, 
Gaspare — Memoria dei nomi degli artejici, p. 81. Grisar, Hartmann — Un 
affresco sotto la chiesa di S. Pjidenziana, in Civilta cattolica, 1896, vol. i. p. 
733. Bull. arch, com., 1891, p. 305, pis. xii. xiii. fig. i ; and p. 311,. pis. xii. 
xiii. fig. 2. 

XIX. The characteristic of the fourth region was the predomin- 
ance of private dwellings over public buildings. It was an essen- 
tially popular quarter, the reverse of the eighth and ninth regions, 
in which we can hardly find room for insulae and domus. The 
excavations which have taken place on the Viminal and Cespian 
and in the intermediate valley since the revival of classical 

1 The well which gives the name to the church is still accessible. The 
place deserves a visit. 




Studies have always yielded a rich harvest in objects and works I 

of art pertaining to private mansions, the remains of which appear 
to be in wonderful preservation. The history of these excavations 


has not yet been written, and many of the finds are yet unknown 
to students. Here is one instance. In 1684 a new street was 
opened along the north slope of the Cespian, half-way between 
the via Urbana, which runs at the bottom of the valley, and the 
via Sforza-Paolina, which runs on the edge of the plateau. The 
street called via Graziosa^ from the name of Pietro Graziosi, a rich 
local landowner, was cut right across a group of old Roman houses, 
beautifully preserved and full of objects of interest. The preceding 
unpublished sketch, made by Pietro Sante Bartoli at the time of 
the discovery, shows the state of the remains as they appeared 
when the street was cut. I have found the original on p. 65 of 
Bartoli's volume " donne au Cabinet des Estampes du Roi par 
M. le Comte de Caylus en 1764," which now bears the mark G, 
d, 2, n. 3871 1 of the Bibliotheque nationale. The drawing is 
explained by the following notes : — 

(I.) Crypt in which S. Lawrence was imprisoned. (II.) Spring 
with the waters of which S. Hippolytus was baptized. The crypt 
could be reached in two ways, by a spiral staircase (IIP) and by 
an inclined corridor (IV.) entered by a heavy travertine gate (XV.) 
(The crypt, the well, and the corridor are still to be seen under 
the church of S. Lorenzo in fonte.) (VII.) Hall with walls and 
vaulted ceiling covered with mosaic, shells, and enamel. (VIII.) 
Aqueduct. (IX.) A colonnade of the Doric order with shafts of 
travertine coated with stucco. (X.) Room with walls of reticulated 
work. All these remains built on virgin soil marked V. were 
covered by a bed of rubbish marked XI. which had rolled down 
the slope of the Cespian. No. XIII. marks the cutting of the via 
Graziosa, and No. XII. the new houses in course of construction 
when Bartoli made his sketch. He speaks of the same excavations 
in his Memorie^ edited by Carlo Fea. " When a new street was 
opened (on the slope of the Cespian) opposite S. Lorenzo in 
Panisperna, remains of ancient edifices were found, and an 
exquisite fragment of a Venus, which was restored by Ercole 
Ferrata for queen Christine of Sweden. Duke Livio Odescalchi 
bought it with the rest of the queen's marbles, w^hich were 
ultimately removed to the museum of S. Ildefonso, Spain. There 
was also a Bacchic flute of Corinthian brass, 3 palms long, and 
several other objects, which, for reasons known to me, I must abstain 
from mentioning {Mem. 17). ... A mosaic pavement has been 
laid bare in the foundations of the house of signor Pocavena, with 

1 I have described the contents of this volume, one of the most precious in 
the Cabinet des Estampes, Paris, in the B^dl. com., 1895, p. 166. 


birds and arabesques in bright colours " {Mem. 26). On January 
8th, 1 6 1 3, the Lararium or chapel of the house of L. Crepereius 
Rogatus was discovered at the foot of the salita di S. Maria 
Maggiore ; 1 but the most important find by far is that of 
November 1848, when the set of frescoes with landscapes and 
scenes from the Odyssey were discovered in repairing the founda- 
tions of the monastery delle Turchine at the corner of the via 
Sforza. Reproductions of the frescoes, now in the room of the 
Nozze Aldobrandine in the Vatican library, have been given by — 

Noel des Vergers — Bull. Inst., 1849, p. 17. Brunn, Heinrich — Ibid., p. 129. 
Matranga — La cittddl Lamo stabilitainTerracina. Rome, 1852. Woermann 
— Die antiken Odysseelandshaften vofn esquilinscheti Hugel. Munich, 1876. 
Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide, vol. ii. p. 175. 

The via Graziosa exists no more. The great via Cavour runs 
in its place at a higher level. The building of the via Cavour, 
therefore, gave no opportunity of fresh discoveries ; and in fact if 
anything lies still at the level of the ancient city, it may be truly 
said to be beyond the reach of man. 

On the Eastern Side of the City 

(Regions V, VI, and VII) 

XX. No modern capital of Europe can be compared with 
ancient Rome for number and extent of public parks and gardens. 
While the nine larger parks of London, with their aggregate 
surface of 2000 acres, represent the 39th portion of the city 
area, those of ancient Rome, extending over the chain of hills 
for two miles at least on either side of the Tiber, represent the 
8th portion. If such open spaces act as lungs to a city, no city 
ever breathed more freely than Rome. The accompanying sketch- 
map (Fig. I 50) may help the student to locate the various " horti '^ 
mention of which occur in classics or in inscriptions. The city 
was not only surrounded and enclosed by them, but intersected 
in every direction. Those on the eastern chain of hills followed 
each other (from south to north, as ancient maps are oriented) in 
this order : — 

•^ Bull. arch, com., 1891, pp. 305, 341. 


Regio V. Esquiline. Horti Variani. 

,, ,, ,, Liciniani. 

,, ,, ., Torquatiani, Pallantiani, Epaphrodotiani. 

,, ,, ,, Tauriani, Calyclanii, Vettiani. 

., ,, ,, Lamiani, Maiani. 

,, ,, ,, Maecenatiani. 

,, ., ,, LoUiani. 

Regio VI. Alta Semita. ,, Sallustiani. 

Regio VII. via Lata. ,, Luculliani. 

,, ,, ,, Aciliani. 

These gardens did not make one continuous stretch of verdure : 
they were intersected by streets hke the Salaria vetus, the Alta 
semita, the vicus portae ColHnae, the vicus portae ViminaHs, the viae 
Tiburtina, Praenestina, Labicana, etc., by groups of houses and 
palaces, and by a few public buildings of large area. 

I shall describe first the parks, then a few of these prominent 
buildings set as they were in a frame of green. 1 

XXI. Horti Variani. — The extreme south-east corner of the 
city, between the line of the Claudian aqueduct and the amphi- 
theatrum Castrense, seems to have been the property of the Varian 
family from an early period, and to have been transformed into a 
park by SextusVarius Marcellus, father of the Emperor Heliogabalus 
(Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus). Heliogabalus enlarged and im- 
proved the gardens, which became part of the Imperial domain. 
Here he retired to conspire against the life of his cousin Severus 
Alexander, and here he was found, starting a chariot race, by the 
Praetorians eager to take a revenge for the attempted assassination 
of the cherished young prince. 

The gardens, officially named Jiorti Spei veneris, from the old 
temple of Hope which stood close by the porta Maggiore, were 
cut in two by Aurelian's walls. We do not know whether the 
part extra muros was abandoned ; probably it was not, and the 
communication across the line of the walls may have been kept 
open by means of posterns. The section intra muros continued 
to be an Imperial garden and residence, and attained great 
notoriety at the time of Helena and Constantine. Three of the 
Varian edifices deserve notice : the circus, the - palace, and the 

The approximate situation of the Circus in respect to the neigh- 

^ On Roman gardens in general consult Wiistermann — Ueber die Kunst 
gdrtnerei hei die alien Roynerm. Gotha, 1846. Woermann — Ueber landschaft- 
lichen Natiirsinn der Griechen u. Romer. Munchen, 1871. Ancient Rome, 
book X. p. 271. 




boLiring monuments is shown in this fragment of a perspective plan 
of the sixteenth century, and also in Bufalini's map of i 5 5 i. When 
Antonio da Sangallo the younger examined the ruins in the second 
quarter of the sixteenth century, the obelisk was still lying broken 
in three pieces (along the spina?) in the vineyard of a messer Jero- 
nimo Milanese, which was then being excavated by a stonecutter 
named Rugieri. Sangallo also saw and designed {UJizi^ n. 900) 
a graceful nymphaeum not unlike that still existing in the gardens 

ffWMi ' illlilJUlfll 



(From sheet iv. oi \.\\& Antiquae Urbis Imago. Rome. 1551.) 

of Sallust. The remains of the Circus were ^'ery conspicuous 
in those days, and bore the name of " Ciercho, Cerchio, Circo 
Vetere," and also of " lo Girolo." The obelisk was dug out in 
1570, and the brothers Curzio and Marcello Saccoccia, who owned 
the ground, put up a tablet commemorating its discovery, which 
is still to be seen in one of the arches of the acqua Felice. 
The obelisk was removed in the following century to the Barberini 
garden, via delle quattro Fontane, where Bernini wanted to raise 
it in front of the palace. President de Brosses and five other 
gentlemen from Burgundy asked leave from pope Clement XII. 


to erect it at their expense in front of S. Luigi de' Francesi. The 
project luckily failed, but the odyssey of the pillar did not end then. 
Princess Cornelia Barberini presented it to Clement XIV., who 
caused it to be removed to the giardino della Pigna in the Vatican. 
Pius VI. planned to place it, first on the pedestal of the column of 
Antoninus Pius in the same gardens, and again on the top of the 
tower of the porta Pia. Valadier and Pius VII. erected it at last 
in the central avenue of the passeggiata del Pincio. It is a work 
of Hadrian's time, cut in memory of his favourite Antinous. 

Literature. — Fulvio, Andrea — Antiqq., iv. Palladio, Andrea — Antichitd, 
ed. 1554, p. 9. Ligorio, Pirro — Circhi, p. 9. Cipriani, Gio. Battista — 
Obelischi, p. 21. Bianconi, ¥t^— Circhi, ch. ii. p. ix. Winckelmann — ■ 
Storia delle arti, vol. i. p. 96, n. C. Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. 
p. 607. Huelsen, Christian — Miifheil., 1896, p. 122. 

The Palace inside the walls is known in documents of a later 
age as the palatium Sessorianum. The origin of the name is 
obscure,! but the fact that it was an Imperial residence of the 
third and part of the fourth century is undoubted. Helena, 
mother of Constantine, preferred it to the palace of the Caesars, 
and the place is full of associations of her. Here were found the 
pedestals of statues raised to her by Julius Maximianus, a dignitary 
of the Constantinian Court, and by Flavius Pistus, keeper of the 
privy purse {Corpus, n. i 134, 1135) ; and here also, in the vine- 
yard of Girolamo Muziano the painter (f 1550), was found a bust 
considered to represent her likeness. I confine myself strictly to 
archaeological evidence ; but Church documents give fuller details 
about her works, and about the transformation of the great hall 
of the palace into a Christian place of worship under the title of 
Hierusalcm. This hall resembled very closely in shape and 
dimensions the templum Sacrae Urbis turned into a church by 
Felix IV., having the same line and number of arched windows 
under the roof, and the same wall decorations in " florentine " 
mosaic, composed of crusts of porphyry, serpentine, and other 
" pietre dure." - Constantine left the hall as it was ; he only closed 
the lower arches opening on the garden, and added an apse at 
the east end. The columns by which the hall was divided into 
nave and aisles are an addition of Gregory II. (715-731). The 
church remained in its old form until the beginning of the last 
century. I have found in the State archives a plan of the church 
and cloisters taken on May 15th, 17 16, by the architect Melchior 

^ Becker, Adolf — De muris, p. 120 ; and Topographic, p. 556. 
^ Sangallo the younger — UJizi, n. 899. 


Passalacqua, full of interesting details. Benedict XIV. in 1744, 
with the assistance of Passalacqua and Gregorini, reduced the 
glorious monument to its present grotesque form — a work which 
Milizia justly condemns as " nefando." This was done at the 
expense of another hall of the palace, known in ordinary guide- 
books by the name of tempio di Venere e Cupido, This beautiful 
hall, of which only the apse, standing in the garden north of the 
church, is left, was almost intact in the sixteenth century, with its 
columns of red granite, its portico and vestibule, etc. Benedict 
XIV. and his acolytes destroyed it for the sake of a few cartloads 
of bricks. 

No student should omit to visit the vigna di S. Croce in 
Gerusalemme.^ The remains of the Claudian aqueduct which 
enclosed the Imperial gardens on the north, of the walls of Aurelian 
which run across them on the south side, of the "hall named 
Hierusalem," and of the so-called temple of Venus and Cupid, 
make it one of the loveliest spots of Rome. 

The statue of Sallustia Barbia Orbiana, wife of Severus Alexander, 
who was himself cousin of Heliogabalus (now in the cortile di 
Belvedere, Vatican museum, No. 42), is said to have been found in 
these gardens as early as the time of JuHus II. Ligorio mentions 
another statuette of Venus cut in rock-crystal (?) ; and Ficoroni 
describes the works of art found in 1741, when Benedict XIV. 
cut away a knoll called monte Cipollaro, which rose in front of 
the church. They include the Boy struggling with a Goose, prob- 
ably after Boethos, now in the Capitoline museum, room of the 
Faun, No. 16; a head of Caracalla ; a second resembling the 
Carneades of the same museum ; a third unknown ; and a 
column of bianco e nero. Marchese Campana tried the ground 
again in 1855, but he found only a wine-cellar with rows of 
amphorae of white clay. 

The THERMAE Helenianae and the reservoir which supplied 
them with water can be seen in what is now called the vigna 
Conti (entered by the last gate on the left of the via di S. Croce). 
I was able to give a careful plan of these thermae in sheets xxxi. 
xxxii. of the Forma Urbis, from unpublished drawings by Palladio 
(Devonshire Collect.) and Antonio da Sangallo the younger {UJizi^ 
1439). The inscription, now in the Vatican museum, sala della 
Croce greca {Corpus^ vol. vi. n. 11 36), says that "Helena the 
venerable, mother of Constantine, etc. etc., rebuilt the baths after 

1 Ring at the first gate on the left of the church. 

2 D 


inscription was probably discovered in the excavations of Lelio 
Orsini, duke of Bracciano, described by Bartoli {Mem. 12), in the 
course of which five " bellissime " statues were found in an under- 
ground room, with fragments and marbles of every description. 
It seems that after the fall of the Empire one or more rooms of 
these baths were adapted to Christian worship. Flaminio Vacca 
saw images of saints painted on their walls, and Cherubino Alberti 
adds that S. Helena was said to have been buried in one of them ; 
he also gives a sketch of the place. I have myself seen traces of 
painting in some extensive apartments which run deep underground 
in front of the present church. 

Literature. — Giovanni, Alberti — Cod. san Sepolcro, f. 7. Cherubino, Alberti 
— Ibid. vol. i. f. 37'. Ligorio, Pirro — Cod. vatic, 3439, f. 32. Liber 
pontific, Duchesne, i. p. cxxvi. note C, and p. 196. Corpus I nscr., vol. vi. 
n. 781, 782, 2251, 2252. Vacca, Flaminio — Mem. 114 in Fea's Miscell., 
vol. i. p. ci. Ficoroni, Francesco — Mern. 71 : ibid. p. clii. Venuti, 
Ridolfino — Romaantica, vol. i. p. 130. Fea, Carlo, ad Winckelniann — Storia 
del! arte, vol. iii. p. 44. Stevenson, Henry — Annal. Inst., 1877, p. 371. 
Lanciani, Rodolfo — Itin. di Einsiedlen, p. 58. Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide, 
vol. i. p. 84, n. 142 ; and p. 382, n. 518. 

XXII. HORTI LiclNiANi, at the southern end of the viale 
principessa Margherita, between the church of S. Vibiana and 
the porta Maggiore. 

The Licinian family must have possessed property on the 
Esquiline from the time of the Republic. Cicero mentions certain 
atna Lid?tia outside the Esquiline gate, belonging to M. Licinius 
Crassus. A columbaria of freedmen of the same name was dis- 
covered at the time of pope Barberini near the church of S. Vibiana.^ 
The 7>tta Gallieiii (c. 17) calls the gardens "horti nominis sui," that 
is to say, "horti Liciniani," that Emperor being a Licinius himself 
The vita says that Gallienus was very fond of residing in such a 
delightful place, that he was followed there by the whole Court, and 
that every officer of State was admitted to the Imperial table and 
baths. When one of these officers, named Aurelius Victor, 
determined to erect a standing testimonial of his devotion to 
Gallienus and to his Empress Salonina, he chose for its site the 
high street leading to the gardens, and changed the old Esquiline 
gate of Servius into a travertine arch inscribed with the name of 
his masters (see Corpus., n. 1 106). Ecclesiastical documents place 
the church of S. Vibiana near the " palatium Licinianum," viz. near 
the decagonal nymphaeum of the gardens, the so-called Minerva 

^ Fabretti, Raffaele — I nscr. domest., pp. 13, 373. Nibby, Antonio — Roma 
antica, vol. ii. p. 330. Corpus I riser., n. 9154. 


Medica of the present day. The nymphaeum, the first ruins to 
strike the eye of the stranger on his entering the walls of the 
Eternal City,i and the most conspicuous landmark of this district, 
was called Galluce, Galluccie, Caluce in the Middle Ages, and has 
been known as the basilica Caii et Lucii since 1527. The name 
of Minerva Medica given to the ruins towards the beginning of 
the seventeenth century by Nardini and others is doubly wrong, 
because it belongs to a street and to a street-shrine half a mile 
distant (discovered 1887 in the via Curva, west of the Merulana), 
and because it is not true that the statue of the goddess (No. 1 14 
Braccio nuovo), with a serpent at her feet, was found among 
these ruins. The seicento archaeologists supposed the harmless 
creature — the protector of olive gardens, so dear to Minerva — to 
be the serpent of Aesculapius, and therefore to allude to Minerva's 
inedical science. At all events the beautiful statue was discovered 
not on the Esquiline but near the church of S. Maria sopra 
Minerva, among the ruins of the temple raised to her by Pompey 
the great. 

Literature. — Bartoli, P. Sante — Mem. 112 in Fea's Miscellanea, vol. i. 
p. ccliv. Braun, Emil — Ruins afid Museums, p. 153, n. 14. Galleria 
Giustiniana, vol. i. p. 3. Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide, vol. i. p. 31, n. 51. 

The nymphaeum was once covered with mosaics and slabs of 
porphyry, and its dome encrusted with shells and enamel. The 
"vignettes" of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries show it in 
a much better state of preservation. It has nine semicircular 
recesses and one door on the ground-floor, and ten windows above 
The greater part of the dome fell in 1828, and the rest was much 
shattered by a thunderbolt in the following year. It was first ex- 
cavated, as far as we know, by messer Cosmo Jacomelli " medico," 
at the time of Julius III. (15 50-1 5 5 5). The produce of the 
excavations is described by Ligorio, and his statements are sub- 
stantially corroborated by Flaminio Vacca. Numbers of statues 
were discovered lying in pieces before their respective niches ; 
they were thought to represent Pomona (in black marble with 
heads and hands of bronze), Aesculapius, Adonis, Venus, Hercules, 
Antinous, and several Fauns. Ligorio adds to the list a " Minerva 
with her dragon," and says that the Minerva, the Venus, and the 
Aesculapius were given to pope Julius III., who was then collecting 
marbles for his villa Giulia outside the porta del Popolo ; and as 

^ The nymphaeum stands close to the Tre archi, by which all the rnilway 
lines enter the city. 



the pope was in need of a naked statue to pair with another 
already in his possession, he caused the God of Medicine to 

FIG. 153. — STATUE OF A 



be deprived of his mantle and condemned to a state of nudity. 
Cosmo Jacomelli found also four columns of verde antico and ten 
fluted spiral columns of giallo. One of the Fauns, restored by 




Flaminio Vacca, was purchased by card. Alessandro Farnese. 
In another portion of the gardens, owned by Francesco d'Aspra, 
treasurer to Julius III., many other statues were found, as well as 
bronze busts of Emperors ; medals, marbles, etc., removed likewise 
to the villa Giulia. It is no wonder that, after so many finds, our 
own excavations in 1875-78 should have led to no results. The 
only objects recovered were the bust of Manlia Scantilla, wife of 
the Emperor Didius Julianus, now in the palazzo dei Conservatori, 
Rotunda No. 44, some fanciful capitals and columns with Bacchic 
reliefs, and two statues of Roman magistrates of the fourth century 
(the two Symmachi ?) in the act of giving the signal to start the 
races in the circus by throwing into the arena a piece of cloth 
(mappa). One of these is here represented (Fig. 153). There was 
also a bas-relief representing the " Forge of Vulcan." (See Bull 
com., 1874, p. 131; 1878, pp. 142, 199; 1879, p.240; 1883, p. 17.) 




The gardens of the Licinian family, like those of Maecenas, 
were laid on ground occupied by a number of tombs and 
columbaria of the last century of the Republic and of the 
Augustan age. The cemetery was buried under a mass of earth 


from 4 to 8 metres high, and as rehgious respect for tombs was 
still deeply rooted among workmen when the change took 
place, the tombs have been found intact- and full of funeral 
" supellex." Between February 7th and May 27th, 1871, in a 
space only a few hundred feet square, five columbaria were dis- 
covered, containing 204 inscriptions, 200 lamps, 2 marble and 
40 terra-cotta cinerary urns, 195 coins, 150 glass perfume bottles, 
200 balsamaria of terra-cotta, and a few gold rings and ear-rings. 
A complete description of this necropolis is to be found in vol. vi. 
part ii. of the Corpus Inscr., p. 976, under the title Mo7iiiineiiia 
cffossa in vinea Behwdiorinn prope poj'tam Praenestinain. The 
above photo (Fig. 154) shows some of the columbaria ^ excavated 
in 1872 and the depth at which they lay buried under the level 
of the Licinian gardens. 

Literature. — Peruzzi, Baldassarre — Ufizi, n. 498. Peruzzi, Sallustio — 
Ibid. n. 689. Heemskerk, Martin — Berlin, f. 49'. Lequeu, Jean Jacques, 
in Cabinet des Estampes, Paris, Rone, vol. Monti, n. G. Duchesne, Louis 
— Lihe>- pontif., i. p. 250, n. i. Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. ii. 
p. 328. Brizio, Edoardo— P///"//;-^ e scpolcri scoperti snll' Esquilino ?iell' 
anno iSjS- Roma, 1876. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull, com., 1880, p. 51, 
pi. ii. 

XXI 1 1. HORTI Tauriani. — The most important group of 
tombs described in the section of the Corpus just quoted is the 
columbaria of the servants and freedmen of the Statilian family, 
discovered partly in 1875, partly in 1880, in that portion of the 
Licinian gardens now crossed by the viale principe Eugenic. They 
contained 427 inscriptions relating to 370 servants attached to 
the person of Statilius Taurus, consul in A.D. i i, and to his 
children, (See Ancie7it Rome, p. 132.) The presence of these 
family vaults in this special corner of the Esquiline indicates that 
the Statilii must have owned property of some kind in the 
neighbourhood. The Acts of SS. Faustus and Pigmenius dis- 
covered by the Bollandist fathers, in Cod. lat. 5289 of the Biblio- 
theque nationale, Paris, mention ?i forum (Statilii) Tauri between 
the church of S. Vibiana and the porta S. Lorenzo. This gate was 
called porta Taurina in the Middle Ages, and the whole district 
regio Tauri or regio caput Tauri. Lastly, there were two churches 
called S. Silvester de Tauro and S. Laurentius ad Taurellum. 
The origin of these names was explained by the discovery (made 
in 1874 in the via principe Amadeo behind the apse of S. 
Eusebio) of two terminal stones with the legend CIPPI • HI • 

^ Marked J, K, L, M in the plan of the Corpus, pp. 982 and 990. 



mark the boundary-line between the gardens called Calyclanii and 


those of (Statilius) Taurus." A water-pipe discovered not far 
from the cippi, inscribed with the name of Vettius Agorius Prae- 
textatus and of his wife Fabia Aconia Paullina, proves that the 


classical gardens of the Statilii had passed into the hands of the 
Vettii in the fourth century after Christ, and were embodied in the 
old HORTI SCATONIANI, SO Called from the Vettii Scatones. Both 
families had enriched the grounds with works of art to such an 
extent that several thoiisa7id marble fragments Avere extracted, in 
March 1874, from two walls alone, into which they had been built 
after the first barbaric inroads. A summary catalogue of these 
sculptures, now exhibited in the palazzo dei Conservatori, is to be 
found in the Biill. coni.^ '^^1 2)1 P- 293, n. 58 ; 1874, p. 59 ; and 
1875, p. 151. One of them, an old shepherdess with her pet 
lamb under her left arm, is here reproduced (Fig. 155). It was 
found in the piazza Manfredo Fanti. 

Literature. — Duchesne, Louis — Liber poniif., vol. i. pp. 123, 127, 258, 
note 2. De Rossi, Gio. Battista — II forum Tauri nella regione Esqtiilina, in 
Bull, com., 1890, p. 280. Catalogus codicum hagiographicorum, in Biblioth. 
nationale, Paris, Bruxelles, 1889, vol. i. pp. 520-523. Pianta dell' aula 
tewpo)-a//ea del Palazzo dei Conservatori, Roma, Salviucci, 1876, n. 17, 30, 
31, 40, A. 68, 72, 76, 107. Huelsen, Christian — Niiove osservazioni, etc., 
in Bull, com., 1893, p. 119 ; 1894, p. loi, etc. Ancient Rome, p. 169. 
Corpus Inscr. , vol. vi. n. 6241, 6281, 6282. 

XXIV. HoRTi Lamiani et Maianl • — Valerius Maximus, 
praising the modesty and frugality of the Aelian family, says that 
a humble house near the "trophies of Marius" was sufficient to 
accommodate sixteen Aelii. The trophies of Marius stood near the 
present church of S. Eusebio on the Esquiline. The Aelii Lamia, 
the more illustrious branch of the family, which claimed descent 
from Lamus king of the Lestrigonians, enlarged the property on the 
line of the via Merulana, and laid out gardens, worthy rivals of 
those of Maecenas on the other side of the same ^street. It is 
supposed that Lucius Aelius Lamia, consul in A.D. 3, must have 
bequeathed the park to Tiberius, as Maecenas had done for 
Augustus, because we find it described as a part of the Imperial 
domain on the Esquiline, immediately after the death of Lamia, 
which took place in A.D. 33. Philon, who led the Jewish embassy 
to Caligula, and who was received in the horti Lamiani, says they 
were next to those of Maecenas and to the Servian walls ; that 
they contained magnificent apartments, two storeys high, with 
windows having panes of transparent marble instead of glass, 
besides avenues, woods, fountains, works of art, etc. The 
murdered body of Caligula was removed here from the Palatine 
on January 24th, A.D. 41, cremated and buried in haste, but some 
time later his sisters carried the ashes to the mausoleum of 


Augustus. However, as long as the ashes were kept in the 
gardens, the keepers were constantly harassed by the phantom of 
the murdered prince. The halls of the palace were so large that 
a portrait of Nero 07ie hundred and twenty feet high (35*64 metres) 
could be painted in one of them. The huge canvas, twice as large 
as the mainsail of a frigate, was set on fire by lightning, together 
with the palace : " pictura, accensa fulmine, cum optima hortorum 
parte conflagravit." ^ The damages must have been repaired at 
once. The staff of keepers is mentioned in several inscriptions 
{Corpus^ n. 6152, 8668, 8669). At the time of Severus Alexander 
the park received improvements, especially in the waterworks. 

A volume could be written on the exquisite works of art, paint- 
ings as well as sculptures, discovered in the horti Lamiani since 
the beginning of the sixteenth century. The list comprises, 
besides objects of secondary interest, the Meleager of the Belvedere ; 
the pediment of a temple (.?), with the slaughter of the Niobides, 
and the two Athletes, now in the Ufizi, Florence, found in the 
spring of 1582 ; the " Nozze aldobrandine," found at the time of 
Clement VIII. (1592-1605), now in the Vatican library; the 
Discobolos of Myron, found March 14th, 1781, now in the Lancel- 
lotti palace ; the Hercules, removed to England by colonel Camp- 
bell ; the relief of Dancing Women, now in the museo Chiaramonti, 
section xxvii. n. 644 ; and many other marbles lately in possession 
of the Massimi family. 

Literature. — Fabroni — Dissert, sidle statue appartenenti allafavola di Niobe. 
Firenze, 1779. Cancellieri, Francesco — Dissertazioni Epistolari sopra ta 
statua del Discobolo. Roma, 1806. Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. ii. 
p. 324. Helbig, Wolfgang — Gidde, vol. i. p. 66, n. 116, pp. 78, 133 ; and 
vol. ii. p. 184, n. 958. Zuccato — Idea del Pittori, book ii. p. 37. Moreau 
de Mautours — M^tn. Acad, des Inscriptiofis, Hist., vol. v. p. 297. Visconli 
— Catal. Villa Miollis, p. 127. 

The discoveries made in our own time can well challenge 
comparison with those described above. On Christmas eve 1874, 
in one room only (at the corner of the via Foscolo and the via 
Emmanuele Filiberto), we found lying on the marble floor the bust 
of Commodus under the attributes of Hercules, reproduced in the 
following cut (Fig 156) ; it was flanked by two Tritons or marine 
Centaurs and by two statues representing either two maiden daughters 
of Danaos (according to Helbig), or two Muses, Terpsichore and 
Polyhymnia (according to Visconti). There were also the " Venus 
Lamiana" (called by Helbig "A Girl binding a fillet round her 

^ Pliny — Hist. Nat., xxxv. 7, 33. 



head "), a portrait head of young Commodus, a head of Diana, a 
Bacchus of semi-colossal size, with drapery of gilt bronze (missing), 
and about twenty-five exquisite fragments — legs, arms, hands, feet, 
etc. — belonging to statues whose drapery was likewise of bronze. 


These works of art are exhibited in the octagonal room of the 
palazzo dei Conservatori, and the fragments in Hall II. of the 
museo Municipale al Celio. The graceful girlish statuette re- 
produced in the following cut (Fig. 157) was discovered near the 
vicolo di S. Matteo, and is evidently modelled in imitation of the 


terra- cotta figurines which have made the names of Tanagra 
and Myrina famous over the world. 


Literature. — Visconti, Carlo Ludovico — Bull, com., vol. iii. 1875, pp. 3, 
16, 57, 140, pis. i.-v. ix. X. xiv, XV. ; vol. xviii. (1890) p. 68, pis. iii. iv. 
Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide, vol. i. p. 418, n. 558-560 ; p. 421, 11. 564, 565 ; 
p. 422, n. 566. Forma Urbis Romae, pis. xxiii. xxx. xxxi. 

XXV. HoRTi Marcenatis. — The old Esquiline cemetery 
was divided into two sections, one for the slaves, beggars, 


prisoners, and criminals who had undergone capital punishment, 
another for a better class of citizens who could afford to be buried 
apart in tombs or columbaria. This first section covered an area 
I GOG feet long, 30G deep (297 metres by Sq-ig), and contained 
many piiticuli or pits, into which men and beasts, bodies and 
carcasses, and all kinds of city refuse were thrown in a horrid 
confusion. About seventy-five puticuli were discovered and ex- 
plored in the cutting of the via Napoleone III., some containing 
a uniform mass of black, viscid, pestilent, unctuous matter, whilst 
in others the bones could in a measure be singled out and identified. 
The neighbourhood of this field of death was set apart for the 
daily refuse of the city. 

The suppression of tliis hotbed of pestilence, with the sanitary 
reform of public cemeteries, took place under Augustus at the 
suggestion of his prime minister C. Cilnius Maecenas. The whole 
district, alongside the agger of Servius Tullius, was buried under 
a mass of earth 6 to 8 metres high, and gardens were laid out on 
the newly-made ground, which became the world-famous horii 
Maecciiatiaiii. The event was sung by Horace, Sat. i. 8, 14 — ■ 
" nunc licet Esquiliis habitare salubribus^ atque | aggere in 
aprico spatiari, quo modo tristes | albis informem spectabant 
ossibus agrum." The gardens contained a palace and a tower or 
" belvedere," which Horace describes as reaching the clouds : 
" molem propinquam nubibus." Nero is accused by Suetonius 
of having watched from this lofty observatory the progress of the 
flames in the fire of July 64, while singing the capture and burning 
of Troy in a theatrical robe ; but the fact is contradicted by 
Tacitus. No further mention occurs of the gardens in classics. 
In the Middle Ages they took the name oi Massa Jttlia7ta^ which 
has survived to our own times in the church and convent of 
S. Giuliano.i There are two groups of remains within the area 
of the horti : one in the piazza Fanti,. in the grounds of the 
Aquarium, consisting of a few rooms with mosaic pavements ; one 
at the corner of the vie Merulana and Leopardi, which deserves 
a visit. It is a noble hall built of reticulated work, half under- 
ground, with six niches on each of the side walls, and seven steps 
in the curve of the apse. The following cut (Fig. 158) shows the 
hall in the state in which it was found in March 1874. The apse 
and the niches were covered with exquisite landscapes, in the style 
of those of Livia's villa at Prima Porta. These have since all faded 

1 Duchesne, Louis — Liber pontif., vol. ii. p. 44, n. 84. De Rossi — Bull, 
crist., 1 87 1, p. 28. 



away except a few bits under the shelter of the niches. Visconti 
gave the hall the name of auditorium or ''sala de recitazioni," as- 
suming that it could accommodate 334 spectators ; others believe it 
to have been a conservatory for rare and delicate plants. The hall 
is on view every Thursday, and permits are obtained at the Ufficio 
della Commissione archeologica Municipale, Aracoeli, Capitol. 

The catalogue of the works of art discovered at various times 
in the gardens of Maecenas is very copious. Hermae or busts of 
eminent men come in the first place. Vacca calls them " portraits 



of philosophers . . . one of which is of Socrates.'"' One of Homer 
was found in 1704 between S. Antonio and S. Vito, and a replica 
in the via Merulana. A portrait statue of Euripides with the name 
of his tragedies engraved on a tablet came to light in the same 
district. Between 1872 and 1878 twelve more heads were found, 
and removed to the palazzo dei Conservatori, together with a 
superb figure of a mastiff in verde ranocchia, a semi-colossal group 
of Hercules and (one of) the horses put together out of 137 pieces, 
a replica of the so-called " genius of the Vatican," a figure of 
Marsyas of pavonazzetto, a statue of Silenus, an exquisite head of 
an Amazon, several caryatides, marble fountains of various shapes, 




one of which is here reproduced. This graceful object is signed 
by nONTIOS, an Athenian artist, and presents the form of a 
drinking-horn or rhyton placed on a group of lotus leaves. The 
mouth of the rhyton may have been used as a flower-pot, while 
the water fell from the mouth of the winged monster. All these 
objects are exhibited in the octagonal hall and gallery of the 
palazzo dei Conservatori. The epigram of Kallimachos painted 

FIG. 159. 



on the walls of the greenhouse, illustrated by Visconti and Dressel, 
is preserved in the museo Municipale al Celio, Hall No. II. 

Literature. — Nibby, Antonio — Roma cuitica, vol. ii. p. 339. Visconti, 
Carlo Ludovico, in Bull, com., 1874, p. 137, pis. xi.-xviii, Mau, August— 
Bull. Inst., 1875, p. 89; and Ann. Inst., 1880, p. 137, note. Dressel, 
Heinrich — Rivista di Jilologia, anno iii, aprile-giugno. Venuti, Ridolfino — 
Cod. vatic, 9024, f. 232. Vacca, Flaminio — Mem. 39 in Fea's Miscellanea, 
vol. i. p. Ixxii. Ficoroni, Francesco — Vestigie di Roma antica, vol. i. p. 10. 
Winckelmann — Storia delle arti, vol. ii. p. 63 ; and Mem. 2 in Fea's Miscell. , 
vol. i. p. clxxxiii. 

XXVI. HORTI LOLIJANI. — In building the foundations of the 
" Istituto Massimi," at the corner of the via principe Umberto 
and the piazza di Termini, some terminal stones were found 


inscribed with the words, " These stones mark the boundary-hne of 
the gardens of LolHa (horti LoUiani), which are now the property 
of the Emperor Claudius." LolHa Paulina was made an Empress 
by Caligula in A.D. '^'] ^ in spite of the protests of her legal husband 
Memmius Regulus ; but Caligula soon grew tired of the alliance and 
Lollia was banished from the Imperial house. Eleven years later 
Claudius, being in quest of a wife after the death of Messalina, 
hesitated for a while between the two professional beauties of the 
age, Lollia and Agrippina. Agrippina won the day, and her first 
act was to obtain the banishment of her rival and the confiscation 
of her property. The horti Lolliani thus became part of the great 
Imperial park on the Esquiline. 

Literature. — Garrucci, Raffaele, in Civilta Cattolica, serie xii. vol. iv. 
fasc. 800, p. 205. Ancient Rome, p. 104. Notizie Scavi, 1883, p. 339. 
Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 31,284. 

XXVII. Horti Sallustiani — originally laid out by the 
historian Sallust with the wealth acquired during his governorship 
of Numidia. After his death they passed into the hands of Q. 
Sallustius Crispus, to become Crown property at the time of 
Tiberius. They were a favourite residence with many Emperors, 
who enlarged the domain with subsequent acquisitions, embellished 
it with the costliest works of art, and supplied it liberally with 
water. There were several reservoirs for its storage and distribu- 
tion over the grounds : one of them, two hundred metres long, runs 
parallel with the via Venti Settembre under the Hotel Royal and the 
houses facing the Ministero delle Finanze ; another can still be seen 
in the riding-grounds of the King's corazzieri, vicolo di S. Nicola da 
Tolentino ; a third was discovered in 1888 right under the Casino 
deir Aurora. The water-pipes bear the names of Claudius, Trajan, 
Severus Alexander, and of one of the Valentinians. 

Among the historical events connected with Sallust's gardens 
are the attack made on them by Antony, one of the generals of 
Vespasian, in the campaign against the VitelHans in A.D. 70 ; the 
long residence of Vespasian, who ordered the gates of the park 
and of the palace to be kept open to every one and removed the 
sentinels from them ; the death of Nerva in his seventy-second year, 
which took place A.D. 99 ; the long residence in them of Aurelian, 
who built a colonnade called porticus Milliariensis^ because it was 
1000 feet (297 metres) long. Under the shelter of it he would 
fatigue himself and his horses by constant riding, although already 
advanced in years. A curiosity was shown in the crypts of the 



palace : the bodies of two giants named Possion and Secundilla, 
each lo feet 3 inches long (3 "04 metres). Palace and gardens 
were burnt down and devastated by Alaric on August loth, 410, 

The principal ornament of the gardens was the temple of Venus 
Erycina, afterwards named Sallustiana or else "Venus hortorum 
Sallustianorum." Classics described it as standing at the head of 
the valley between the Pincian and the Quirinal, outside the porta 
Collina. Its construction had been promised by the consul L. 
Porcius while engaged in the Ligurian war of 184 B.C., and its 
dedication had taken place two years later. 


The temple was discovered in the middle of the sixteenth 
century in the vineyard then belonging to Gabriel Vacca, father of 
Flaminio, who describes it as round peripteral, with the peristyle 
of fluted columns of giallo antico, and with four pairs of columns 
of alabaster at the four entrances. The discovery aroused the 
interest of antiquaries. Pirro Ligorio designed and described it 
in Cod. vatic.., 343 9> f- 28 ; Cod. parts, {fonds St. Germahi), 86, etc.; 
and Panvinio wrote a brief comment on Ligorio's designs. The 
temple contained a statue of the goddess seated on a throne ; the 
upper part of the throne here reproduced (Fig. 160) was discovered 
in the summer of 1887, near the junction of the vie Boncompagni 
and Abruzzi ; the head of the statue — a wonderful specimen of Greek 


archaic art — has formed part of the Boncompagni-Ludovisi museum 
since its first institution (n. 33, Room III.) 

Literature. — Visconti, Carlo Ludovico — Bull, com., 1887, p. 267, pis. xv. 
xvi. Petersen, Eugene — Mittheilioigen, 1892, p. 32, pi. ii. Helbig, Wolfgang 
— Guide, vol. ii. p. H2, n. 882. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull, com., 1888, p. 3. 
Huelsen, Christian — Mittheilungen, 1889, p. 270. 

The gardens contained also a group of buildings of Egyptian 
style, so much in fashion in Rome at the time of Hadrian. 
To these structures belong the four statues, formerly in the 
Capitoline museum and now in the Vatican, two of which were 
discovered in 1714, two in 1720. They are clever Roman 
copies of Egyptian originals, and are cut in red granite and grey 
basalt. The obelisk now in front of the Trinita de Monti formed 
part of the same group. Ligorio saw it lying in the vineyard of 
"messer Paulo Patella" about 1550, and made a sketch of it in 
Cod. vat.., 3439, f 3. Sixtus V. had planned to raise it in front 
of the church of S. Maria degli Angeli, but he had not time to 
carry the project into execution. One of the Ludovisi princesses 
made a present of it to Clement XII. in 1733, ^^'ho caused it to 
be removed to the Lateran, then in course of reconstruction. I 
have found in volume G, i, of the Queen's library at Windsor a 
sketch by Carlo Fontana, showing the exact place in which the two 
pieces of the obelisk were lying in 1706, when that architect 
was urging pope Albani, Clement XL, to erect it in the niche of 
the fountain of Trevi. It was ultimately set up at the top of the 
steps of the Trinitk by Pius VI. in 1808. Its socle, of red 
granite, measuring 323 cubic feet, was discovered accidentally in 
1843 ^s^'^ the gate of the villa. It now lies abandoned in the 
piazza del Maccao, near the reservoir of the acqua Marcia. 

Literature. — Bottari — Museo Capitol., vol. iii. n. 76, 'jj. Braschi — De 
tribus statuis, i. 5. Cipriani, Gio. Battista — Degli Obelisctii, p. 19. Sarti, 
Eniiliano — Archivio Socieid storia patria, vol. ix. p. 436. 

The only remains now visible in the piazza Sallustiana, at a 
great depth under its level, belong to a nymphaeum built over the 
springs of the river Petronia, which were originally called Catifons. 
The nymphaeum is connected with a palace of very curious design, 
of which not less than/^//r storeys can still be traced. Excellent 
designs by Ligorio can be found in Cod. parisbi. (fonds St. 
Gerjfiam)., n. 1 139, f. 31 1-314 ; and in Cod. vatic, 3439, f 27, 30, 
48. These gardens of Sallust had practically survived the shocks 
of time and lasted to our own days. I think that, as regards 

2 E 




natural beauty and taste in the arrangement of their shady walks, 
open vistas, floral decorations, artificial ponds, etc., the villa Ludo- 
visi and the villa Massimo, which covered the same ground, were 
not inferior to the old Roman park. The museo Ludovisi con-, 
tained, perhaps, more masterpieces of Greco -Roman art than 
Sallust and his Imperial successors had been able to gather in the 
gardens. Both villas, the pride of modern Rome, were mercilessly 
sacrificed by their owners in 1886, and to no purpose whatever. 


It is true that the villas have disappeared, that their magnificent 
ilexes have been burnt into charcoal, their great pines used for 
timber, their hills and dales cut away or filled up to a dead level, 
and their deliciously shady avenues destroyed to make room for 
broad, straight, sun-beaten thoroughfares ; yet no one seems to 
have gained by it. Those who sold and those who bought the 
grounds have failed alike in their speculations, and the new quarter 
remains still unfinished. 

Besides the head and the throne of the Venus Sallustiana, 
many works of art have passed from these gardens into our 


museums. Ligorio mentions the discovery of life-size figures of 
Niobe and the Niobides in full relief, belonging probably to 
the pediment of a temple, of statues of Bacchus and of a Faun, 
together with several Nymphs of fountains. The celebrated 
Silenus with the infant Dionysos in his arms, formerly in the villa 
Borghese and now in the Louvre (Frohner — Catalogue^ 1889, p. 
265, n. 250), and the Bacchic vase in the same museum {Ibid. 
p. 302, n. 311), were discovered about 1575 near the present 
casino Massimo. The statue of Zeus, n. 326 sala dei Busti, 
Vatican museum, seems to have been discovered near the site of 
the obelisk, together with other works of art formerly in possession 
of the Verospi family. Winckelmann mentions a group of two 
young girls playing with the da-TpdyaXot, discovered in 1765 and 
bought by General Walmoden. 

There is no doubt that the Dying Gaul of the Capitoline 
museum and the group of a Gaul and his wife of the Boncompagni 
museum ^ belong to the same artistic composition, and to the 
same place, the gardens of Sallust. Helbig contends that the 
composition, of which the group occupied the centre and the 
Dying Gaul the extreme right corner, cannot "have formed the 
sculptural decoration of a pediment, because the plinths are oval 
instead of rectangular. The lifelike details of the works would 
also have been lost at so great a height. It is therefore probable 
that the group of the villa Ludovisi, the Capitoline figure, and the 
other statues of the series were placed side by side on one or more 
pedestals of moderate elevation," like the Niobides of the horti 
Lamiani. Helbig thinks also that the composition did not 
represent " Parnasi eiectos de vertice Gallos," a companion subject 
to the slaughter of Niobe's children, but a victory gained by 
king Attalos I. of Pergamos over the Gauls. We must remember, 
however, that Ligorio's account of the existence of statues of 
Niobides in these gardens is confirmed by the discovery of a 
fragment of one of the female figures made in 1887. The frag- 
ment is preserved in the museo Municipale al Celio. 

Another portion of the gardens of Sallust, the beautiful valley in 
the shape of a circus, with the cliffs shaded by evergreens, dis- 
appeared in 1881-82, when Herr Spithoever the Librarian, who 
had bought the ground from the Barberinis, filled up the valley 
with the materials of the Servian embankment which crowned the 
cliffs, and turned one of the most picturesque corners of the city 
into flat building lots. 

^ The so-called Dying Gladiator and group of Arria and Paetus. 


No traces of the temple of Venus Erycina (Venus hortorum 
Sallustianorum) were found ; but the foundations of that of one of 
the three Fortunes ad portam CoUinam came to light near the 
junction of the via Venti Settembre and via Salaria. Many works of 
art were collected by Spithoever on this occasion. Twenty metres 
below the platform of the temple, at the bottom of the moat which 
protected the Servian embankment from the outside, a statue was 
found, life-size and of good workmanship, representing Endymion 
asleep on the rocks of mount Latmos. A few steps farther a 
statue of Leda and the swan came to light, a good copy of a 
better original, and also the figure of a dog finely cut in rosso 

Literature. — Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. ii. pp. 281 and 348. 
Helbig, Wolfgang — Guide, vol. i. p. 164, n. 245; and p. 396, n. 533 ; vol. ii. 
p. 117, n. 884. Lanciani, ^odoMo— I comefitarii di Fronti/io, p. 224, n. 87- 
94; and Itinenirio di Einsiedlen, pp. 27, 28. Corpus luscr., vol. vi. 122, 
4327. 5863, 8670, 8671, 9005. Bull, com., 1880, p. 133; 1885, p. 165. 
Forma Urbis Romae, pi. iii. Mommsen, Theodor — Corpus I riser,, vol. i. 
second edit. pp. 315, 319, 335. 

XXVIII. HORTI LUCULLIANI, on the slope of the Pincian 
hill, now crossed, by the vie Sistina, Gregoriana, due Macelli, and 
capo le Case. These gardens, laid out by Lucullus and brought 
to perfection by Valerius Asiaticus, contained a palace, the favourite 
residence of Messalina ; porticoes and libraries in which Lucullus 
gathered the leading savants of his age ; and a banqueting-hall 
named from Apollo, where Cicero and Pompey the great had been 
entertained at dinner. No traces remain of these buildings, except 
some mosaic pavements under the houses via Sistina No. 57 and via 
Gregoriana No. 46, and some walls under and near the Mignanelli 
palace. Two well-known works of art have been found on the 
site of these gardens : the so-called Arrotino, or Scythian sharpen- 
ing his knife for the execution of Marsyas, now in the Tribuna 
degli Ufizi, Florence ; and the head of Ulysses, discovered in the 
foundations of the colonna della Concezione, piazza di Spagna, now 
in the Vatican museum. 

Literature. — Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. ii. p. 336. Lanciani, 
Rodolfo — Bull, com., 1891, pp. 150-153. 

XXIX. HORTi AciLiANi (passeggiata del Pincio — villa 
Medici). — The promenade of the Pincian is known to strangers 
and to most of the Romans as a simple pleasure-ground, giving 
opportunities for a pleasant walk in shade or sunshine and for 
meeting friends. Its terraces overhanging the valley of the Tiber, 


and the plains crossed by the via Flaminia, seem to have been 
created by the genius of Valadier for the enjoyment of our golden 
sunsets, when the opposite ridge of the monte Mario appears 
fringed with a glowing halo of fire. There is, moreover, another 
attraction unknown to the " vulgus profanum " — the historical and 
archaeological associations of the place. 

Many suppositions were made by topographers as to the 
former state of the hill, until the controversy was settled by an 
accidental discovery made in 1868. Whilst new water-pipes were 
being laid in the avenue which leads from the Trinita de' Monti 
to the " rond point," where the Cairoli monument has lately been 
erected, a votive marble tablet was discovered at a depth of three 
feet, inscribed with the following dedication : " Tychicus, frcedmaii 
of (Manius Acilius) Glabrio^ and inteiidant (or keeper) of his 
gardens^ has dedicated (this shrine) to Silvamis^ The tablet is of 
delicate workmanship, with edges cut sharply in the shape of a 
swallow's tail ; and as these pointed edges were in perfect condi- 
tion, it is evident that the tablet has been found not far from its 
original place. The family of the Acilii, of whose gardens T) chicus 
was intendant, may be called the noblest among the noble in 
ancient times. It was divided into several branches, such as the 
Acilii Aviolae, the Acilii Glabriones, etc. The latter is especially 
known in Roman history, from the time of the battle of Ther- 
mopylae, in which Acilius Glabrio, consul 191 B.C., defeated king 
Antiochus. His great-grandson and namesake, the consul of 67 
and commander-in-chief in the Mithridatic war, is better known 
to students as the Praetor Urbanus who presided over the im- 
peachment of Verres (70 B.C.) In Imperial days the name of 
the family appears not less than eleven times in \he fasti consiilai^es^ 
therefore it is not possible to determine who is the Glabrio 
mentioned in the tablet as owner of the Pincian villa. The 
palaeography of the inscription seems to pertain to the end of the 
second century, in which a Manius Acilius Glabrio twice obtained 
the consulship. 

The discoveries made by de Rossi in the catacombs of Priscilla 
have thrown an unexpected light on the history of these Acilii Glab- 
riones. Ue Rossi had repeatedly expressed a doubt as to whether 
the Acilii had become Christians at a very early period. Thrice 
he has discussed the problem in his Biillettino (1863, p. 29; 1865, 
p. 20; 1869, p. 78), but the evidence he was able to collect was 
merely circumstantial. The discovery of a beautiful hypogaeum 
of the second century in the very heart of Priscilla's cemetery. 


containing the tombstone of Manius Acilius Verus and Acilia 
Priscilla, son and daughter of Manius Acihus Glabrio, consul a.d. 
152, proves that the "noblest among the noble" had embraced 
our faith from the first announcement of the Gospel in Rome. 

To come back, however, to the Pincian hill, we must remark 
that the gardens of the Acilian family were not confined to the 
narrow limits of the present Promenade, but comprised within their 
boundary- line the villa Medici, a portion of the villa Borghesc, 
and the convent and garden of the Trinita de' Monti. Many 
discoveries have taken place in this vast extent of ground, from 
the time of cardinals Riccio di Montepulciano and Ferdinando de' 
Medici to the present day. The accounts left by contemporary 
writers, compared with the existing ruins, enable us to reconstruct 
the general outline of the villa, as well as the detailed plans of 
some of its leading structures. These structures may be classified 
as follows. In the first place there are the supporting walls of 
the terraces facing the north and the east, afterwards enclosed 
by Aurelian in his line of city walls. Then come the buildings 
connected with the supply, storage, and distribution of water, such 
as nymphaea, reservoirs, aqueducts, fountains, etc. Thirdly, the 
palace of the Acilian family and the residences of their servants, 
gardeners, gamekeepers, etc. Lastly, the wine-cellars, which 
form one of the most interesting features of the estate. 

The Substructures facing the east and the north side of the 
rectangle, towards the villa Borghese, have been mostly concealed 
by modern buttresses, raised between 1850 and 1865 by Vesco- 
vali. They are built of reticulated work, with edges of small tufa 
blocks — a style of construction which is considered especially 
characteristic of the time of Sulla. Their surface is corrugated 
by a number of niches, with buttresses projecting between them, 
so as to give to the whole construction the look of an aqueduct. 
This is probably the reason why in a document of 1026, edited by 
Tommasetti, the substructures are called gli arciotii (the arcades). 

In the second decade of this century, count Tournon, prefect 
of the Napoleonic department of the Tiber, aided by Valadier and 
other eminent artists, laid the plans for turning the vineyards, 
then belonging to the Augustinian monks of S. Maria del Popolo,^ 

^ There are two relics left of this vigna del Frati del Popolo : two old 
umbrella pines which mark the site of one of the gates opening on a side 
lane. They are to be seen not far from the fountain of Moses in the inner 
garden, and are conspicuous in the spring from the rich mass of climbing 
roses which covers their trunks. 




into a public promenade. The works began in 1812 on the 
slope facing the campus Martius, and were watched by Giuseppe 

Guattani, to whom the archaeological interests of the enterprise 
had been entrusted. 

He asserts that he saw remains of the same substructure walls 


all along this western slope, from S. Maria del Popolo to the 
vicolo del Borghetto : there were two lines of them, one above the 
other ; the lower terrace contained no trace of buildings, the upper 
one was covered by a network of reticulated walls. The best and 
most elaborate part, however, of these substructures has been seen 
and described, and can still be faintly traced, in the garden of the 
Sacro Cuore by the Trinita de' Monti, under the gardener's house. 
Lucio Fauno describes this part as a "gran fabbrica antica, a guisa 
d' un mezzo cerchio che e gia per andare in rovina." Pirro Ligorio 
adds that the hemicycle opened toward the west, that it measured 
1 100 feet (32670 metres) in diameter, and that it was profusely 
ornamented with colonnades, staircases, fountains, niches, and 
statuary. The nymphaeum or "Parnaso" of the villa Aldobrandini 
at Frascati, designed by Giacomo della Porta, although smaller 
in size, may give an idea of the magnificent hemicycle of the 
Acilian gardens (Fig. 1 63). Ligorio ends his description by saying : 
" questo luogo e rovinato e dal tempo e da li frati della Trinita." 

A plan of these ruins, now concealed from view, has been given in 
the Ihdl. com. of 1891, pis. v. vi. The best way of examining those 
left standing on the side of the villa Borghese is to walk along the 
" via delle Mura ' from the porta del Popolo to the porta Pinciana. 
This lovely walk gives the student an opportunity of observing 
also that strange relic, called the viiiro Torto, which marks the 
north-east corner of the gardens. In the Middle Ages women of 

Via OfLLL AlUn^ 


ill fame were buried at the foot of the muro Torto, and in more 
recent times men and women who had refused religious help on 
the scaffold. 


I have in my collection of drawings an original sketch by Valadier 
(here reproduced, Fig. 164) which shows how beautifully preserved 
the substructures were when he undertook to transform the vigna 
dei frati Agostiniani into the present Passeggiata. The walls were 
lined by masses of evergreens, an overhanging forest which was 
periodically leased or sold by the Camera capitolina to dealers 
in charcoal or firewood. I have seen a lease dated September 
nth, 1 7 16, by which the S.P.Q.R. allows a certain Francesco 
Battaglia " di cioccare, ripulire, e liberare tutte le mura da porta 
del Popolo sino a p. Pinciana, da radiche spine, licini, ellere, ed 
altro," on condition that the three largest ilex-trees should be 
left to the Camera. 

Waterworks. — The highest point of the Pincian hill is marked 
by a conical mound called il Parnaso or Belvedere di villa Medici, 
from which Karl Sprosse designed in 1847 his beautiful panorama 
of the city. The mound is an artificial one : it is the work of 
cardinal Riccio da Montepulciano, who took advantage of some ex- 
isting ruins to form a foundation for his belvedere. The ruins are 
marked in early maps of Rome under the name of " the temple of 
the Sun." A drawing of Sallustio Peruzzi {Ufizi^ n. 665) shows that 
the would-be temple of the Sun was simply a nymphaeum, like 
the one of the Sallustian gardens and the so-called Minerva 
Medica of the Licinian park. It was ornamented with fourteen 
niches or fountains, and towered high above an extensive and 
elaborate system of waterworks. It stood on a line with the 
hemicycle the remains of which have been described above, and 
it is possible that, as in the case of the villa Aldobrandini at 
Frascati, masses of water rushed down in graceful cascades from 
the nymphaeum to the terraces below. 

Other masses of water, for the irrigation of the estate, were 
carried by means of underground channels and leaden pipes to a 
reservoir, which is still partially in use. The reservoir is excavated 
in the rock, and consists of galleries six feet wide and seven and 
a half high, intersecting each other at right angles. When I de- 
scended for the first time into these crypts, on June 12th, 1876, 
only twenty-one galleries were accessible, of which ten ran from 
south-west to north-east, eleven in the opposite direction. Far 
more numerous are those made inaccessible by the crumbling 
down of the roof, or by the hands of the monks. " On the 
Pincian hill," relates Pietro Sante Bartoli, "there was a large 
reservoir of water, half destroyed by certain monks (the Augustin- 
ians of S.' Maria del Popolo) to turn it into a wine-cellar. The 


destruction proved to be useless, because the crypts are too warm 
for the preservation of wine." Two galleries, 80 metres long, 
connect this labyrinth with a piscina on which the modern Casino 
is built. The piscina — now used as a store-room for the tools of 
the gardeners — is composed of two parts : one, 30 metres by 
10, which was capable of holding 1200 cubic metres of water; 
the other held only 200.1 

The Palace of the owners occupied that portion of the modern 
promenade which stretches between the " viale dell' Obelisco " and 
the northern boundary -wall of the villa Medici. Its centre is 
marked by the piscina just described, viz. by Valadier's Casino, 
where the gardeners are stationed, and which of late years has 
been turned partially into a restaurant. The buildings faced the 
south-west with a frontage line of 230 metres. The style of masonry 
was the reticulated, with but little mixture of brickwork. The 
plastering of the walls was of the finest quality, composed of 
marble dust and lime. The pavements were inlaid with mosaic 
either monochrome or in colours, and the apartments painted in 
the so-called Pompeian style, with polychrome figures on vermilion 
or black grounds. There were bath-rooms, with hot-air pipes 
radiating from the furnace or hypocaustum below ; corridors and 
galleries, the floors of which were not laid horizontally, but in- 
clined like the one which leads down to Maecenas' hall in the via 
Merulana ; rooms with cornices and panels elegantly carved in 
gilt stucco ; others with a dado inlaid with alabaster, porphyry, 
serpentine, and other precious marbles ; remains of porticoes, 
peristyles, and colonnades with pieces of columns of alabaster and 
pavonazzetto ; capitals of the composite order ; a colossal head of 
Niobe ; and a torso of Cupid. All these things were found in 
1812. In the spring of the following year the excavations were 
continued near and behind the apse of S. Maria del Popolo ; and 
here also many apartments were excavated with painted walls, 
mosaic pavements, marble incrustations, and so forth. One of 
the leading features of this excavation was the large quantity 
of sea -shells found among the rubbish which levelled up the 
ground over the ruins. They were examined by Brocchi, who 
decided that they had nothing to do with the geology of the 
Pincian hill, but that they had simply been used as a decoration 
for fountains and artificial grottoes. 

^ The entrance to these crypts (not accessible to the public) is on the east 
side of the Casino, on the right of the little fountain. In February 1881 other 
galleries were discovered and destroyed right under the wall of the villa Medici. 


Wine-cellars. — The via delle Mura (between the porta del 
Popolo and the muro Torto) is separated from the foot of the sub- 
structures by a strip of land, which, I think, is now occupied by a 
nursery for trees and shrubs belonging to high latitudes, as the 
place is naturally cold and shaded from the sun even in the 
height of summer. This northern aspect of the slope made it 
especially suitable for the establishment of wine cellars and caves, 
which, as every one knows, constituted one of the most important 
sections of a Roman villa. And here they have been found. The 
discovery took place more than a century ago, and was fortunately 
witnessed by a careful archaeologist, Seroux d'Agincourt, who 
describes it on p. 45 of his Recueil des fragmejits de sculpture 
(ijitiqne en terre cuite. 

Here is a free translation of his graphic account. "At the 
foot of the walls of Rome, between the porta del Popolo and the 
gate of the villa Borghese under the muro Torto, a small stair- 
case composed of eight or nine steps was discovered in 1789, in 
an excavation seven feet deep. This staircase led to a room 
eighteen feet long, five and a half feet wide, paved with a tessellated 
floor in black and white of a strange design. The walls and the 
ceiling were decorated with fresco paintings in arabesque style, 
representing festoons and birds of various kinds, with a tasteful 
cornice carved in stucco. Next to this chamber there was another 
of nearly the same size, but without ornaments. Opening on this 
second apartment was a crypt of the same height extending to- 
wards the muro Torto for a length of eighty or ninety feet. The 
second room was not paved : its floor was covered with loose sand 
into which amphorae of the largest size were fixed upright. I 
believe these terra-cotta jars to have been used for holding wine or 
even precious liqueurs. They stood round the walls in a single row. 
The long gallery, on the contrary, contained an infinite number 
of earthen jars ranged in parallel lines, all in a standing position, 
as their pecuhar shape required. Although they belonged to the 
class of wine amphorae or diotae^ still the variety of their 
forms, and even more the variety of the objects found in them at 
the time of the discovery, leaves us rather perplexed as to their 
primitive use. One of the vases contained water in a sufficiently 
pure state. In another were found some Httle heads of terra-cotta, 
a hand carved in ivory, glass and terra-cotta perfume bottles shaped 
like the (so-called) lacrymatories. In a third, bones of oxen 
expressly cut and sawn to go through the narrow neck of these 
receptacles. In a fourth, skeletons, heads, jaws, vertebrae, bones 


of different animals, such as lizards, serpents, small quadrupeds, 
and even scales of fish. Others contained needles of ivory and 
metal, hair-pins, medals, and coins. The initials M. D. S. were 
impressed on the handle of several jars, and on the neck of one the 
maker's name MATVRi. I could not find on any vase the names of 
consuls marking the date of the year in which the liquid had been 
sealed into them. Nothing could throw any light on their history, 
or tell me why and how these miscellaneous objects should be 
found mixed together in such a manner as to suggest those 
superstitious incantations and evocations of infernal spirits which 
—under one form or another — have been practised by credulous 
people from remote times up to the present day. On the floor of 
the crypt, and buried deep in the sand, an object was found which 
looked like the top or handle of a walking-stick ; it was made of 
glass or enamel, with that iridescent patina which gives to such 
things the look of mother-of-pearl. I would mention, lastly, 
fragments of terra-cotta lamps, dishes, and cups, and some bricks 
bearing the mark EX OFFICINA domit(iae) lvc(illae), which 
seems to confirm the opinion of those antiquaries who place the 
gardens of the Domitian family on the Pincian hill.i 

" The destruction of this singular and interesting monument 
should be put in the fist of those due to the thoughtlessness and 
rapacity of landowners, and to the indifference and avidity of their 
workmen, a subject of everlasting regret in Rome." 

Fresh excavations were opened in the same place, along the 
northern slope, in 18 13, and they led to the discovery of other 
groups of amphorae, set up against the walls of the caves in parallel 
lines. Other amphorae came to light in 1868, together with the 
inscription of Tychicus near the gate of the Trinita dei Monti. 
This last find seems to indicate that wine-cellars were established 
not only in a place naturally exposed to the tramontana and shaded 
from the sun, but wherever the building of the substructures afforded 
an opportunity to create subterranean vaults under the terraces of 
the villa. 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 623. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull. 
Inst., 1868, p. 119. Bull, com., 1891, p. 132; and Forma Urbis, sheet i. 
Caetani, Lovatelli Ersilia— // monte Pincio, in Miscellanea Archeologica, p. 
211. Roma, 1891. 

XXX. I have remarked already that the public and private 
parks on the hills of the left bank were intersected by roads, by 

^ The brick-stamps of Domitia Lucilla prove only that the crypt was built 
towards the middle of the second century. 


popular or aristocratic quarters, and by great public buildings. 
Three of these, belonging to the sixth region, alta Semita, are 
left partially standing : the temple of the Sun in the villa Colonna, 
thebathsof Diocletian, and the praetorian Camp. (See map, Fig. 165.) 

XXXI. TExMPLUM Sous Aureliani. — Communication be- 
tween the plains of the via Flaminia and the Quirinal hill, the 
favourite abode of Roman patricians, had always been difficult, 
owing to the steepness and narrowness of the streets leading to 
the three Quirinal gates, the Salutaris (via delle quattro Fontane, 
via del Giardino), the Sanqualis (salita della Dateria), and the 
Fontinalis (salita delle tre Cannelle). When Aurehan, after the 
conquest of Palmyra, determined to offer to the Romans a specimen 
of eastern architectural splendour, by raising a great temple to the 
Sun on the very hill on which it had been worshipped from 
time immemorial (SOLI indigeti in COLLE QUIRINALI, feast-day 
August 9th), and on the very site of the " pulvinar Solis," which 
Quintilian places near the temple of Quirinus, he combined archi- 
tectural magnificence with public utility. The temple was placed 
at the top of great steps, which, like our Scalinata della Trinita 
de' Monti, were destined to afford a direct and easy communica- 
tion from the campus Martins to the plateau of the hill. The 
steps were designed so that great crowds could ascend or descend 
them without meeting or crossing each other. 

The temple itself was of immense size. It covered an area of 
16-890 square metres, and towered at the height of 30 metres 
above the pavement of the sacred enclosure. The shafts of the 
columns were 17-66 metres high, the Corinthian capitals 2-47 
metres, the entablature 4-83 metres. A fragment of the cornice 
lying in the villa Colonna weighs a hundred tons, and measures 
34-27 cubic metres. The fountain of Sixtus V., formerly in the 
piazza del Popolo, has been cut out of one of the bases, and also 
the fountain of piazza Giudea. The pavement of the Colonna gallery 
has been inlaid with marble, cut out of one piece only of the frieze. 
Such colossal proportions make clear the wish of the conqueror of 
Palmyra to give the Romans a taste of the wonders he had 
himself admired in the East, especially at Heliopolis, where stones 
60 feet long, 1 3 thick were raised to a height of 2 1 feet at the 
north-west corner of the platform. 

Classics and inscriptions give us very little information about 
this temple. The vita Atirelia?ii calls it " magnificentissimum," 
adding that the vaults and crypts of the temple were used to store 



the wine which some of the lands of the Peninsula Avere wont 
to send to Rome as a " contribution en nature " to the Treasury. 
This is an instance of the practical good sense of the Romans, 
which enabled them to seize every opportunity offered by edifices 
of this kind, and to turn such buildings as were ostensibly erected 
for the purpose of display to very practical purposes. 

The destruction of the temple began at a very early age, if it 
is true that eight of the porphyry pillars used by Justinian in the 


decoration of S. Sophia were removed from it. Towards the end 
of the Middle Ages we already find it reduced to the state shown 
in this view of 157$ by Etienne Duperac (Fig. 166). 7^he ruin, 
crowned by a battlemented tower, was called "torre Mesa" or "torre 
di Mecenate," and more commonly the " frontispizio di Nerone," 
and formed part of the fortified enclosure of the Colonnas. 

It consisted of a portion of the cella, built of blocks of peperino, 
and of the right corner of the pediment, the same that is now 
lying in the Colonna gardens. The torre Mesa was still standing 
in 1 6 1 6, when A16 Giovannoli made another — and the last known — 
sketch of it. It disappeared at the time of Urban \TII. 


The destruction of the substructures of the temple began in 
January 1549, and lasted at least up to February 1555. In the 
first period of the works search was made for marbles alone. 
A regular lease had been signed between the princess Giulia 
Colonna and the representatives of pope Paul III., then engaged 
in finishing the palazzo Farnese. From Jan. 2nd to Nov. 9th, i 549, 
41 3 1 scudi were spent simply in wages of men employed in the 
work of destruction. After the death of Paul III., prince Ascanio 
Colonna made a present of what was left of the temple to Julius 
III., then engaged in building his villa Giulia. For three consecu- 
tive years hundreds of cartloads of stone were removed every month 
from the Colonna gardens. Besides the palazzo Farnese and the 
villa Giulia, the Cesi chapel in S. Maria Maggiore had its share of 
the spoils. Sixtus V. began in 1587 the destruction of the platform 
of concrete upon which the temple rested ; Innocent XIII. in 
1722, Pius IX. in 1866, and the municipality of Rome in 1878 
blew up the rest to make room for the pontifical stables, for the 
new salita della Dateria, and for the new via del Quirinale. On 
this last occasion some crypts were discovered with Greek and 
Palmyrene inscriptions written with charcoal or red chalk on the 
white plaster of their walls. These interesting recollections of 
queen Zenobia's fate are now exhibited in Hall VI. of the museo 
Municipale al Celio. 

The marble steps of the great staircase were removed to 
the Aracoeli in 1348 by Lorenzo di Simone Andreozzo. One of 
the most remarkable facts connected with this temple is the 
respect shown by the semi-barbarian Romans of the Middle Ages 
for some works of statuary which adorned the steps in front of the 
propylaia. This museum of marbles, which may well compare 
with the museum of bronzes at the Lateran, comprised the two 
incomparable groups representing the Dioscuri in the act of 
making their fiery steeds feel the power of the bridle, now in 
front of the Royal palace ; the two River Gods now in the piazza 
del Campidoglio ; and a figure of Rome seated on the throne, 
which was bought by cardinal d'Este. Later on the three 
statues of the Constantines, now in the piazza del Campidoglio 
and in the vestibule of the Lateran, were added to this popular 

The following engraving by Lafrery, dated i 546, shows how the 
Dioscuri were then placed, and what damages they had suffered 
in the course of centuries. Sixtus V. and Domenico Fontana 
removed them to their present position, after horsemen and steeds 


2 1" 


had undergone a thorough restoration. Bertolotti has pubhshed 
an account of the work full of useful information. It cost 2334 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr., vol. i-, p. 324; and vol. vi. n. 726. Vacca, 
Flaminio — Mem. 40, 78, 88, in Fea's ^Iiscellanea, vol. i. Ficoroni, Francesco 
— Mem. 115, ibid. Notizie Scavi, 1878, p. 369. Bertolotti, A. — Artisti 
lombardi a Roma, vol. i. p. 75. Huelsen, Christian — Rheinische Museum f. 
Philologie, 1894, p. 392; 3ind Bull, com., 1895, p. 39. Lanciani, Rodolfo — 
Bull, com., 1894. p. 297 ; and 1895, p. 94. 

XXXII. Thermae Diocletianae, built by Diocletian and 
Maximian, and opened A.D, 306,1 after their abdication from the 
throne. According to Olympiodoros, they contained about 3000 
marble basins, besides a swimming piscina of 2400 square 
metres. They contained also a library (the bibliotheca Ulpia, re- 
moved from the forum of Trajan), gardens, gymnasia, club-rooms. 
Together they covered an area of 130,000 square metres. The 
excavations made in the last twenty-five years for the building of 
the railway station, of the Grand Hotel, of the Massimi palace, 
for the opening of new streets, and for the laying out of new 
gardens have enabled us to find out the names and the plans of 
some of the edifices destroyed by the two Emperors to obtain a 
site for the baths. Amongst them are the offices of a collegium 
Fortunae Felicis, a temple built on foundations of concrete ; a 
portico or a shrine, rebuilt once by one of the Valerii Messallae 
and again by Cn. Sentius Satuminus ; pavements of streets ; w^alls 
of private houses ; and pieces of the largest and longest water-pipe 
ever found in Rome. It went from the porta Viminalis to the 
alta Semita, and through the alta Semita to the forum of Trajan. 
The tube, made of sheets of lead 3 centimetres thick, is inscribed 
with the names of the Emperor Hadrian and of Petronius Sura, his 
procurator aguarum. The tube was at least 1750 metres long, 
and as it weighs 132 kilos, and 745 grammes for each metre, 231 
tons at least of metal must have been used in its construction. 

Inscriptions placed above the four principal gates described and 
praised the great work of Diocletian and of his colleague. The 
fate of these historic documents is truly remarkable : pieces of 
them have been found at various times in the Certosa, at S. 
Antonio on the Esquiline, at S. Alessio on the Aventine, at the 
monte della Giustizia, in the foundations of the Treasury buildings, 
and in the via principe Umberto. The last piece came to light 
in June 1890 from the foundations of the Grand Hotel. The 
^ Between May ist, 305, and July 24111, 306. 


history of the baths is not known. Probably they suftered 
damage during the sack of Alaric, because a fragmentary inscrip- 
tion seen by fra Giocondo da Verona on the spot (about 1495} 
speaks of repairs made in the course of the fifth century. They 
were still in use under king Theoderic ; the collapse of the 
Marcian aqueduct must have soon brought about their abandon- 
ment. The compiler of the Iti?ierary of Ei7isiedlen saw one of 
the great inscriptions still fixed above one of the gates. In the 
year 1091 pope Urban II. made a present of the ruins to S. 
Bruno and to Gavin, his friend, for the establishment of a Car- 
thusian brotherhood. In 1450 Giovanni Ruccellai saw a great 
many columns of white or coloured marble standing on their 
bases and crowned by finely - cut entablatures. Francesco 
Albertino mentions the first discoveries of statues and pedestals 
made under Julius II. at the beginning of the sixteenth century. 
Jean du Bellay, ambassador of Francis I., created cardinal b\ 
pope Paul III. in 1533, purchased the greater portion of the 
baths and laid out gardens among their picturesque ruins, 
known by the name of horti Belleiani ; at his death, however, 
in 1560, creditors seized the estate and divided it among 
themselves. The horti Belleiani fell to the lot of S. Carlo 
Borromeo, who sold them in his turn to his uncle pope Pius IV. 
This pope took up the old project of Urban II. for the trans- 
formation of the baths into a Certosa, and of their tepidarium into 
a magnificent church. His bull of grant to the monks of S. Croce 
in Gerusalemme is dated July 27th, 1561, and says among other 
things that the malaria raged so virulently at S. Croce that the 
abbot and his flock were in constant danger of life. The work of 
transformation, begun on April 24th, 1563, and finished on June 
5th, 1566, cost 17,492 scudi. The state of the tepidarium when 
Michaelangelo entered it for the first time is shown in the follow- 
ing sketch made by a contemporary artist.^ Michaelangelo 
converted the great hall into a Greek cross by adding to it 
the present vestibule and the choir, the entrance being from the 
south-east side, opposite the present railway station. \^anvitelli 
changed Michaelangelo's plan : the nave was converted into a 

^ Photographed by Miss Dora Buhver from f. 90 of the sketch-book of an un- 
known artist, now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge (marked R, 17, 
3''''). There are other valuable sketches by du Perac (/ Vestigi, f. 30) ; Dosio 
{Aed'tjiciorum reliquiae, 44, 45, 46 ; and UJizi, 74, 76, 79, 2573) ; Jean Vander 
Wylt, in the Laing collection, Edinburgh ; Lafrery (plate not numbered ; very 
scarce ; a copy in the Cabinet des Estampes). Volume ' ' Rome, rione Monti 
A," of the same Cabinet des Estampes contains 72 views of the baths. 




transept, and a new entrance made from the present piazza di 
Termini. To avoid damp Michaelangelo raised the low-lying 
pavement by 3 feet, so that the original bases of the columns re- 
main buried to that depth. Of the 16 columns of the church, the 
8 in the transept are antique, of red granite and of wonderful 
size. Those of the nave, of bricks covered with painted 
stucco in imitation of granite, are an addition of 1740. One 
of the marble capitals comes from the temple of Claudius on the 

No discoveries seem to have been made in the course of the 
works ; that of a bell with the name FIRMI BALNEATORIS is 

i^r:ps*w'-.*- ' " 


T * 

" ifl 


said by Doni to have taken place in 1548. Gregory XIII. in 
1566 transformed a portion of the baths into grain stores ; these 
"horrea Ecclesiae " were afterwards enlarged by Paul V. in 1609, 
by Urban VIII, in 1630, and by Clement XI. in 1705. 

Sixtus \ .^ while engaged in building his beautiful villa Peretti 
Montalto, as a present to his sister Donna Camilla, destroyed 
about one-fifth of the baths. His books of accounts certify that 
between May i6th, 1586, and May 15th, 1589, not less than 
g4,482 cubic metres of Diocletian's masonry were demolished with 
the help of gunpowder. About the same time Flaminio Vacca 
registers the discovery of eighteen busts of " philosophers," sold 


first to Giuliano Cesarini, and by him to cardinal Alessandro 
Farnese. They are now at Naples. 

In January 1594 Caterina Sforza, countess of Santafiora, con- 
verted into a church and presented to the Cistercians the circular 
hall which formed the south - west corner of the outer circuit 
of the baths (S. Bernardo). In cleaning the cellars of their new 
abode the monks found great masses of lead, which, made into 
sheets, were sufficient to cover the whole dome of the rotunda. The 
fresco paintings of the same hall were whitewashed on account of 
their profane character. 

No works of art of any consequence have been found in these 
baths, except perhaps a headless athletic statue, which appears in 
Lafrery's engraving, and a beautiful head of Venus, discovered in 
January 1805 by Petrini. 

The present generation has not treated the remains of the 
thermae kindly. A wide street, the via Cernaia, has been cut right 
through the halls on the left of the tepidarium ; a tunnel bored 
diagonally across the rectangle to convey the acqua Felice to the 
fountain of Moses; other halls destroyed in building the approaches 
to the railway station, the Massimi palace, the Treasury, and the 
Grand Hotel. The only redeeming point is the transformation of 
Michaelangelo's portico into a museum in which objects of art 
and antiquities discovered on Government land and in Govern- 
ment works are exhibited. (See Helbig's Gidde^ vol. ii. p. 188, 
n. 964-1108.) The famous group of cypresses which shaded the 
fountain in the centre of the quadrangle was half destroyed by a 
tornado in the summer of 1886. The noble trees, contemporary 
with the foundations of the Certosa, are represented in the follow- 
ing photograph (Fig. 169) taken in 1874. 

Literature. — Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 1124, 1130, 1131, 1131'^, 31,242. 
Venuti, Ridolfino — Antichitd di Roma, vol. i. p. 168. Beschreibung, vol. iii-, 
p. 351. Mommsen, Theodor — Archaeol. Zeitutig, 1846, p. 229. Pellegrini, 
Angelo — Dissertazione sulle twine delle terme diocleziane, in Buonarroti, serie 
ii. vol. xi. agosto 1876. Bull, com., vol. viii. 1880, p. 132. Xotizie Scavi, 
1886, p. 36 ; 1890, pp. 185, 215. Paulin — Restauratio7i des thermes de Dio- 
cletien. Paris, 1890. Huelsen, Christian — Rheinische Museum f. Philologie, 
1894, p. 388. Lanciani, Rodolfo — / comc7itarii di Frontino, p. 96 ; and 
Forma Urbis, sheets n. x. xvii. De GeymuUer, Henry — Documents inddits sur 
les . . . thermes de Diocletien. Lausanne, 1883. 

The designs, sketches, and plans of artists of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries are innumerable. The best set by far is 
to be found in a portfolio of drawings, formerly in the possession 
of the architect Destailleur, Paris, and now in the Kunstgewerbe 



museum, Berlin (f. A, -i^-j-j). The name of the artist (French) is 

not known. Cardinal Perrenot de Granvelle employed Sebastian 
de Oya, a Flemish architect, to design the baths, and his draw- 


ings were engraved on 26 copper plates by James Cock of 
Antwerp. The edition, dated 1558, has become very rare. 

XXXIII. Castra Praetoria (fortified barracks of the 
Praetorian guard). — The ndixnQ praetoriujn^ used in a miHtary sense, 
signifies the " commando," the headquarters, whether of a general 
commander-in-chief or of the Emperor himself. When Augustus 
reorganised the Roman army and navy, the legions and the 
auxiliary forces were quartered on the frontiers of the Empire, the 
fleet stationed partly at Misenum, partly at Ravenna, while Rome 
and his own person were entrusted to the protection of two or 
three thousand picked men, quartered in various districts of the 
city and of the suburbs, not in military barracks but in houses 
of peaceful aspect — " nunquam plures quam tres cohortes in urbe 
esse passus est, eaque sine castris '^ (Sueton., Octav.^ 49). After 
the death of Augustus, Tiberius changed tactics at once, hardly 
appearing in public without an escort ; and, with the excuse of 
keeping the Praetorians in stricter discipline, "procul urbis 
inlecebris," away from the seduction and corruption of the city, 
he built magnificent barracks, in a field between the via N omen- 
tana and the via Tiburtina, in imitation of a Roman fortified camp. 
This was done in A.D. 23, on the suggestion of Sejanus, then prefect 
of police. The chief power in the Roman State was thus placed 
practically in the hands of the Praetorians, and the " readers of the 
history of the Empire will recall the many vivid pictures of their 
rapacity and violence. To go to the Praetorian camp and pro- 
mote or give a largess to the guards was the first duty of a Roman 
Emperor . . . there occurred that memorable and most melan- 
choly scene, when the Praetorians shut themselves within their 
camp after the murder of Pertinax and put the throne up to 
auction. Didius Julianus and Sulpicianus bid one against the 
other, and at last they ran up the price to 5000 drachmas to each 
soldier. Julianus then impatiently outbid his rival by offering 
6250, and the Empire was knocked down to him. This was not 
by any means the first or only time that its fate had been decided 
here." ^ 

The Praetorians furnished the guard of honour at the gates of 
the Imperial residence, on which occasions they wore the toga 
instead of the ordinary sagum. Their supreme commander was, 
of course, the Emperor, but practically they were under the rule 
of one or more " piaefecti praetorio." The number of their cohortes 

^ See Burns — Ancient Rome, London, 1895, P- ^^9- 



varied from a maximum of i6 under Vitellius to a minimum of 9 

under \^espasian ; they were cohortes milliariae equitatae, viz. 
1000 men strong, with a squadron of cavalry each. Their term 



of service lasted 16 years ; their pay was about 720 denarii a year. 
The Praetorians were recruited from volunteers from the more 
civilised provinces of the Empire ; but Septimius Severus, having 
dissolved the corps at the beginning of his reign, to reorganise it 
under a different system, the men were recruited henceforth from 
the most tried and trustworthy barbarians, and Rome was thus 
filled with bands of savage-looking Praetorians, speaking unknown 
languages, and of uncouth and barbarous manners. 

Under Maximus and Balbinus the citizens tried to put down 
their violence by cutting the water-pipes which supplied the castra 



from the reservoir by the porta Viminalis, and thus to subjugate 
them by water famine. Aurelian and Probus included in their line 
of fortifications the north, east, and south sides of the rectangle, 
and raised the height of the walls by 10 to 15 feet. The line of 
separation between the original walls, which were battlemented, 
and Aurelian's superstructure can still be traced on the north 
side. (See Fig. 171.) 

The Praetorians were finally suppressed in 312 by Constantine, 
who caused the front or western wall of the camp to be demolished. 

The camp is nearly square, being 430 metres wide, 371 deep. 
It was approached by a triumphal arch— dedicated, it appears, to 



Gordianus the younger and to his Empress TranquiUina — 
splendid remains of which have been found on three occasions : 
first in 1495, when Bramante was searching for marbles for the 
decoration of the palazzo della Cancelleria, belonging to cardinal 
Raffaele Riario ; then in 1873, when the workshop was discovered 
in which the spoils of the arch were adapted to their new purpose 
(via Gaeta, near the villino della Somaglia) ; and again in the 
winter of 1886-87, i^i the foundations of a house at the corner 
of the via Solferino and the viale Castro Pretorio. This last 
discovery took place while I was away from Rome on long leave. 
I am told that the winged Victory represented in the following 
cut, now in Copenhagen, was found on this occasion. It belongs 
to the left spandrel above the middle archway. 



The caxMpus Martius and the circus Flaminius 

(Regio IX) 

(Map, Fig. 173.) 

XXXIV. The plain which extends from the foot of the 
Pincian, Quirinal, and Capitoline hills to the left bank of the 
river, was not changed from a grassy swamp into a region of 
architectural wonders by one man or at one time. The 
transformation was the work of centuries, and the result of the 


combined efforts of wealthy citizens and of enterprising Emperors, 
from the time of Pompey the great to that of Severus Alexander. 
The architectural development of the campus Martius, moreover, 
did not proceed at random, but by zones or districts, which follow 
each other in chronological order ; and each of these groups was 
designed by one man according to his own piano regolatore, and 
generally with a different orientation from that of the neighbouring 
districts. The fundamental lines for such orientation are the via 
Flaminia (Corso), running 1 6° 30' west of the meridian ; the via 
Recta (Acquasanta, Coppelle, S. Agostino, Coronari), which runs 
due west ; and a third street, name unknown (via di Pescheria, del 
Pianto, de' Giubbonari, de' Cappellari), which runs from south-east 
to north-west. For a long time the natural aspect of the campus 
Martius was not altered : the river Petronia continued to flow 
towards the " Goat's pond " (Caprae palus), not yet transformed 
into the " stagnum Agrippae.'" Romans and foreigners continued 
to seek health at the springs of the Tarentum, not yet drawn into 
a canal around the ara Ditis et Proserpinae ; the youth continued 
to race in the Trigarium, to bathe in the Tiber, to hold athletic 
sports in the campus Martius, and to enjoy the shades of the 

The first impulse towards the transformation of the campus 
was given by C. Flaminius, censor in 220, by the erection of a 
circus and by the opening of the via Flaminia. The Flaminian 
group, otherwise called AD CiRCUM or IN CiRCO, comprises the 
following structures : — • 

Circus Flaminius. Aedes Kastoris. 
(Stabula quatuor factionum vi. ) ,, Pietatis. 

Columna bellica. ,, Volkani. 

Aedes Bellonae pulvinensis. ,, Herculis IMagni Custodis. 

,, Martis. Via Flaminia. 

A commercial quarter had been formed in the meantime at 
the southern end of the plain, near the cattle and vegetable 
markets, the wharves of the Tiber, and the bridges (Sublician, 
Aemilian, Fabrician, Caestian) through which provisions were 
brought in from the Etruscan or transtiberine orchards and farms. 
The group of the FORUM HOLITORIUM comprised, in due time — 

I'orum Holitorium. 
(Porticus)Minuciasduas, vetereni 

et frumentariam. 
Porticus usque ad Elephantum. 

.\edes Spei. 
, Pietatis. 
,, lunonis. 



The building over of the plain, in accordance with a carefully 
studied project, began in the last century of the Republic, and was 
the joint work of Julius Caesar and Pompey the great. Caesar 
had planned to divert the course of the Tiber along the foot of 
the Vatican ridge (" secundum montes Vaticanos "), so that the 
city could expand over the campus Martins, and to make a campus 
of the present " prati di Castello " (Cicero — ad Attic. ^ xiii. 33) ; but 
he had no time to accomplish his scheme. Pompey, on the 
contrary, could see his idea carried into execution. With the 
Pompeian buildings and with the additions made to them in later 
times a third group is formed, called AD THEATRUM Lapideum 
or POMPEIANUM. It comprises the — 

TheaUum Lapideum, with the Curia. 

Porticus Pompeianae, with the horti. 


Aedes Veneris Victricis. 

Aedes Honoris, Virtutis, Felicitatis. 
,, Fortunae Equestris. 
,, Minervae Campensis. 

We come now to the age of Augustus. He may truly be said 
to have found this region built of bricks and to have left it of 
marble. Suetonius {Octav.^ 29) says : " He was fond of erecting 
costly structures under the name of his wife, of his sisters and 
nephews, like the basilica of Caius and Lucius, the portico of 
Livia, that of Octavia, and the theatre of Marcellus. He would 
also urge his wealthy friends to follow his example by raising 
new buildings, or by repairing and adorning old ones. His call 
was responded to by Marcius Philippus, who built the aedes 
Herculis Musarum ; by Lucius Cornificius, who rebuilt the temple 
of Diana on the Aventine ; by Cornelius Balbus with his theatre ; 
by Statilius Taurus with his amphitheatre, Agrippa surpassed all 
of them in the number and greatness of his constructions." 
Strabo the geographer gives the following account of the campus 
Martins as it appeared in the early part of the reign of Tiberius : — 
" The old Romans were so bent upon things and actions of more 
serious consequence for the Commonwealth, that they paid little 
or no attention to the beauty of their city ; but the Romans of the 
present day . . . have filled it with many and noble structures. 
Pompey, Caesar, Augustus, his sons, his wife, his sister directed 
all their energy and lavished great sums of money with this purpose. 
Of this we have ample evidence in the campus Martins, which, in 
addition to pleasantness of site and charms of landscape, has been 
vastly improved by architectural beauty. It affords at the same 
time plenty of space for the multitudes who gather in its green 




fields to train themselves in chariot and horse races and in 
athletic sports of all kinds. The buildings of white marble framed 
by masses of green, the hills which enclose the plain on the 
opposite side of the river, delight the eyes of the stranger. There 
is another campus, adjoining the one called Martius,i containing 
porticoes, sacred woods, three theatres, one amphitheatre, so 
close to each other that it appears to form part of the city itself. 
The campus being held sacred in the mind of the citizens, many 
illustrious men and women have selected it for their last resting- 
place. Conspicuous among all is the so-called Mausoleum raised 
on a pedestal of white marble near the banks of the river, and 
shaded by evergreens to the summit of the mound, where a bronze 
statue of the founder of the Empire has been set up. His rela- 
tives are buried in the crypts below." 

Three groups can be formed with the works of the Augustan 
and Tiberian age. The first, or Augustan, comprises the — 

Ara Fortunae Reducis. 

, , Pacis Augustae. 
Solarium or horologium. 
( Ustrinum. 
\ Mausoleum. 
I Silvae et Ambulationes. 

Ripae Tiberis. 
Porticus ad Nationes. 


Corinthia Cnei Octavii. 
Theatrum Marcelli. 

The second, or Agrippianum, extended from the foot of the 
hills, by capo le Case, to the ponte Sisto. The monumenta 
Agrippae are — 

Porticus Pollae or p. Vipsania. 

Campus Agrippae. 


Ductus et lacus Virginis. 

(Aedes Juturnae. ) 



Stagnum, with the Euripus. 

Porticus Eventus Boni. 

r Neptunium. 
\ Porticus Argonautarum. 

Saepta iulia. 

Villa publica. 

Pons Agrippae. 


The third group may be called of the Spectacular Build- 
ings raised by Augustus, his friends, and successors. It comprises 
the — 

Theatrum Marcelli. 

Crypta Balbi. 

Amphitheatrum Tauri. 



^ Strabo means the prata Flaminia at tne south end of the plain. 




No other constructions by zones or districts are recorded for 
the space of over a centur)^ Tiberius repaired the site of 
Pompey's theatre ; Claudius the aqueduct of the aqua Virgo. 
Nero built other great baths near those of Agrippa. In the con- 
flagration of July 65 the flames avoided, or were made to avoid, 
the campus Martius, probably to save the newly-built thermae of 
Nero, so that the homeless multitudes could find shelter in the 
monumenta Agrippae. However, in the last days the fire got the 
better of those trying to keep it within the prescribed limits, and 
consumed some of the porticoes and gardens (porticus amoenitati 
dicatae), some of the temples, the Aemilian gardens of Tigellinus 
(praedia Aemiliana Tigellini), and the Statihan amphitheatre. 1 

The fire of Titus, A.D. 80, damaged considerably the Diribi- 
torium, the portico of Octavia, the temple of I sis and Serapis, the 
Saepta iulia, the Admiralty (Neptunium), the baths of Agrippa, 
the Pantheon, and, of course, the public and private buildings of 
secondary importance wedged in among the great ones. Some of 
them, like the Diribitorium, were abandoned for ever ; others re- 
paired by Domitian (the temple of I sis and Serapis, the Pantheon, 
the porticus Minucia vetus, the Minervium of Pompey the great), 
who added " de proprio " an odeum and a stadium ; others re- 
paired by Hadrian (many temples, the Saepta iulia, the thermae 
Agrippianae, and again the Pantheon and the Admiralty), who 
added also " de suo " a temple in honour of Marciana, sister of 
Trajan, and of Matidia, his mother-in-law ; others finally repaired 
more than a century later (.?) by Septimius Severus and Caracalla, 
like the site of Pompey's theatre, the portico and the libraries of 
Octavia, and probably the theatre and the crypta of Balbus. 

The district on the left of the Flaminia, between the " zone " of 
Augustus (via in Lucina) and that of Agrippa (piazza di Pietra), 
had been occupied in the meantime by the Antonines. This 
group, which we may call Antoninianum, comprises the — 

(So-called) arch of M. Aurelius 

and L. Verus. 
Columna centenaria divi Marci, 

with the hospitium of its 

keeper Adrastus. 

Templum Antonini. 

Columna divi Pii, 

Ustrinum at ara Antoninorum. 

If we take into consideration the object of some of the build- 
ings mentioned above, instead of the name and epoch of those 
who raised them and the age to which they belong, we can make 

Tacitus — -Ann. 

40. Dion Cassius — Hist., Ixii. 18. 


up a last and most important group — the group of the Porticoes, 
under the shelter of which it was possible to cross the plain from 
one end to the other. 

Under the Republic they were comparatively rare, and the few 
that existed at that time were built not as places of pleasant resort, 
but with a definite and more practical aim. The Minucia served 
for the distribution of grain ; the Aemilia for the storage of 
merchandise brought by river and by sea ; those of the forum 
Holitorium as a vegetable market ; the porticus Pompeianae as a 
place of refuge in case of rain. Augustus made porticoes popular : 
under his rule the whole campus was covered with colonnades. 
He himself built that of Octavia, a second called ad Nationes on 
account of some colossal statues representing the nations of the 
world, and rebuilt a third, named Corinthian from the capitals of 
its columns, cast in (gilt) Corinthian brass. Balbus added a 
crypta to his theatre ; Marcius Philippus surrounded with a 
portico the temple Herculis Musarum. To Agrippa the Romans 
owed the porticus Vipsania, the Saepta, used for electoral meetings 
under shelter, the villa Publica, the porticus Argonautarum, the 
porticus Eventus Boni (and the porticus Europae ?). The example 
set by Augustus and his courtiers found imitators down to the 
very fall of the Empire, and even after it, as shown by the horti 
Largiani, the portico of Constantine, the porticus Maximae of 
Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius, and lastly by those which 
led from the Aelian bridge to S. Peter's, from the porta Ostiensis 
to S. Paul's (and from the porta Tiburtina to S. Lorenzo). 

No attention has been paid by topographers to the special 
nature of these structures ; they have been studied individually, 
as simple enclosures of temples, annexes to theatres, picture- 
galleries, museums of statuary, and places of meeting and resort ; 
but if we consider them as successive manifestations of the same 
original plan, and part of a ,whole system, their importance 
increases tenfold. They were designed so that the citizens could 
walk in every season and at any hour under shelter from wind, rain, 
cold, and the heat of the sun. Needless to say, this happened 
after the taste for luxury and comfort had superseded the previous 
austerity of Roman life. Whenever the poets, and Martial 
especially, speak of the porticoes, they allude to one idea — to the 
delight of enjoying there the warmth of sunshine in winter while 
outsiders were shivering from the blasts of the tramontana. The 
spaces between the colonnades were intersected in graceful designs 
by the " tepida buxeta," walls of boxwood. Towards the end of 


the Empire it became possible to walk under shelter from the 
region of the Fora to the church of S. Peter, a distance of nearly 
two miles ; and the sight would have struck the least enthusiastic 
person in the world with wonder. The development of the twelve 
larger colonnades of the campus Martius amounts to 4600 metres ; 
the sheltered surface to 28,000 square metres ; the total area, 
central gardens included, to 100,000 ; the number of columns 
was about 2000. 

These columns were of the rarest kinds of marble. Their 
capitals were sometimes of gilt Corinthian metal, and their pave- 
ments were inlaid with jasper and porphyry. Each portico 
contained a museum of sculpture and a gallery of pictures, and 
the space enclosed by them was laid out in gardens, with thickets 
of box, myrtle, laurel, arbutus, pine, and plane trees shading lakes, 
fountains, and waterfalls. Each one offered to the visitor a 
special attraction. In the porticus Vipsania the maps of the Roman 
world surveyed at the time of the birth of our Lord were displayed. 
The Saepta contained curiosity-shops, where antiquities and manu- 
factures of the Far East, China included, were exhibited. Lastly, 
in the portico of Philippus ladies could find the latest fashions in 
wigs and hairdressing that the fancy of Roman coiffeurs could 

Literature. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — I portici della regione ix., in Ann. Inst., 
1883, pis. A, B. Borsari, Luigi — Sid portici della regione vii., in Bull, com., 
1887, p. 141. Ancient Rome, p. 94. Jordan, Heinrich — Forma, p. 33. 

My description of the existing remains of the ninth region 
will follow the division by chronological zones or groups, in this 
order : {a) monuments illustrating the original state of the campus 
Martius ; {b) mon. AD CiRCUM (Flaminium) ; {c) mon. AD FORUM 
HOLITORIUM; {d) mon. ad theatrum Lapideum (Pompeianum) ; 
ie) the Augustan Group; (/) the monumenta Agrippae; {g) 
the Spectacular Buildings ; {h) the buildings of Nero, 
DoMiTiAN, and Hadrian ; (/) the opera Antoninorum. 

A. Monuments illustrating the Original State 
OF the campus Martius 

XXXV. The Tarentum. — In the early days of Rome the 
north-west section of the campus Martius, bordering on the 
Tiber, was conspicuous for traces of volcanic activity. There 
was a pool called Tarentum or Terentum, fed by hot sulphur (?) 



springs, the efficacy of which was attested by the cure of 
Volesus, the Sabine, and of his family. Dark vapours hung over 
the springs, and tongues of flame sprang from the cracks of the 
earth. The place became known by the name of the Fiery Held, 
" campus ignifer," and its connection with the infernal regions 
was soon an estabhshed fact in folk-lore. An altar was erected 
to the infernal gods on the borders of the pool, and games were 
held periodically in honour of Dis and Proserpina, the victims 
being a black bull and a black cow. The games, originally called 
ludi Tarenti?n\ became in progress of time the hc^i Saeciilares, 
and their direction was entrusted to a college of priests named 
the " quindecemviri sacris faciundis." No other object of Roman 
topography, no other feature in Roman religious institutions, has 
been better illustrated by recent discoveries than have this famous 
altar and these famous games. We have found the altar itself and 
the basin of the spring, the residence of the Quindecemviri, and 
the official report of the celebration of the games under Augustus 
and under Septimius Severus and Caracalla. 

The discovery of the ara Ditis et Proserpinae took place in 
the winter of 1886-87, while the new corso Vittorio Emmanuele 


// 'alker <fr lioiilall sc. 

was being opened at the back of the Cesarini palace. The posi- 
tion and shape of the monument are shown in the accompanying 

2 G 




No traces of the altar and of its triple enclosure have been 
left visible, except two pieces of the ptdvmt of the altar removed 
to the court of the palazzo dei Conservator!, 


The schola or residence of the Quindecemviri was discovered 
on April i6th, 1889, under and near the (now destroyed) oratorio 
di S. Giovanni de' Fiorentini, via del Consolato. There were 
remains of a hall of basilical type, built of red and yellow bricks, 
and divided into a nave and aisles by two lines of columns. These 
ruins were far more conspicuous in bygone days : the Mirabilia 
give them the name of " Secretarium Neronis." The drain of the 
corso Vittorio Emmanuele cuts the apse of the hall in a slanting 
direction. I am sure that, if a proper search were made, historical 
documents of great value would be brought to light. 

The official compte rendu of the celebration of the ludi saecu- 
lares was discovered on September 20th, 1890, by the workmen 
employed in the construction of the sewer between the ponte S. 
Angelo and that of S. Giovanni de' Fiorentini. The fragments of 
marble upon which the precious records were engraved lay em- 
bedded in a mediaeval wall. There were one hundred and thirteen 
fragments in all ; of which eight refer to the games celebrated by 
Augustus in 17 B.C., two to those of Uomitian, the rest to those 
celebrated by Septimius Severus in A.D. 204. The fragments of 
the year 1 7 fit together so as to make a block three metres high, 
containing a hundred and sixty-eight lines. The others are in a 
more fragmentary state. They are all exhibited in the museo delle 
Terme, first room, first floor. 

Literature. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — L' itinerario di Einsiedlen, p. 108; and 
Pagan and Christian Rome, p. 73. Mommsen, Theodor — / commentarii dei 
ludi secolari Augustei e Severiani, in Men. ant. Lincei, vol. i. 3, a. 1891 ; 
and in Ephemeris epigr. , 1892, vol. viii. pp. 225-309. Pascal, Carlo — Bull, 
com., 1893, p. 195 ; and 1894, p. 54. Pinza Giovanni — ibid. 1896, p. 191. 

XXXVI. Campus Martius. — The ninth region of Augustus, 
bordered by the via Flaminia, the Servian walls, and the Tiber, 


was divided into two sections, one named (from the) circus Fla- 
7ni?uus, the other, campus Martins. The latter, in its turn, was 
subdivided into a campus Martius maior and a campus Martius 
mi)ior. The origin of these sections and denominations must be 
briefly explained, but the evidence to be gathered from classics is 
rather conflicting. Livy (ii. 5) says that the field on the left bank of 
the Tiber was dedicated to Mars, and obtained accordingly the name 
of Martius only after the expulsion of the Tarquins. Dionysius (iv. 
22 ; v. 13) asserts that the field was consecrated to that deity 
before the time of Servius Tullius, but without saying when. It 
is certain that an " ara Martis " existed from a very ancient date in 
the campus, and also an "aedes Martis," distinct from and probably 
much older than that erected by Brutus Callaicus near the circus 
Flaminius. Its ruins (.?) were discovered by Baltard in 1837, 
and again by Vespignani in 1873, under the block of houses 
bounded by the via and piazza di S. Salvatore in campo and 
the via degli Specchi.^ On the whole, we may conclude that 
the field had been set aside for public use, and placed under the 
protection of the gods, before the time of Tarquinius Priscus. 
Tarquinius Superbus appropriated and cultivated it for his own 
use ; and when, after his flight, the consuls Brutus and Valerius 
proceeded to confiscate his estates, the campus was covered with 
standing corn. The crop, being deemed accursed, was thrown 
into the river, where it lodged on a mud-bank and formed the 
insula Tiberina (di S. Bartolomeo). 

We hear for the first time of the prata Flaminia as a section 
of the same plain about 445 B.C. It was at the time of the second 
secession, brought about by Virginius, when the tribunes, restored 
to power, held an assembly of the people in the above-named 
meadows, situated under the Capitoline hill, at the southern end 
of the plain. The meadows, therefore, formerly owned by the 
Flaminii, must have become public property ; and indeed they 
appear to have been, at least in part, consecrated to Apollo 
and called the Apolliuar (Livy, iii. 63). Some time later a 
temple of Apollo, voted in 433 in propitiation of a pestilence, 
was erected near this site, and dedicated by the consul Cnaeus 

1 Literature on the temple of via degli Specchi, so little known to students. 
— Canina, Luigi — Annul. Inst., 1838, p. i, pis. A, B; and Edifizii di Koriia 
antica, vol. ii. pi. vi, Urlichs — Beschreibzing, iii^, p. 30. Vespignani, Vir- 
ginio — Bull, com., 1873, P- 212, pis. v. vi. Brunn, in Sitzungsberichte der 
Mtinchener Akad., 1876, p. 343, identifies these remains with the templum 
Neptuni in circo Flaminio. 


Julius in 439. The well-preserved remains of this venerable 
monument are to be seen in some caves that can be reached from 
the convent of S. Maria in Campitelli. 

Literature on the temple of Apollo, the Aedes Apollinis Medici of Livy, 
xl. 51.— Lanciani, Rodolfo — Bull, hist., 1878, p. 218 ; and Bt{ll. com., 1883, 
p. 188. Pascal, Cax\o— II piii antico tempio d' Apollo a Roma, in Bull, com., 
1893, p. 46. Corrado, Gioacchino — Memorie di S. A/aria in portico, Roma, 
1871, pianta lett. S. 

Besides the estate of the Flaminii, we hear of another field 
bequeathed to the people by the vestal Tarracia. Then comes 
the section set apart for the breaking in of horses (Trigarium), 
and another where horse-races, said to have been instituted 
by Romulus in honour of Mars, were celebrated (Equirriorum 
campus). The bank of the river was lined with bathing-houses, 
where the young men, tired of horse-riding, could refresh them- 
selves with a plunge in the cool stream. There were also quays 
for the landing of wine (portus Vinarius) and other merchandise 
brought in by barges from Etruria and Sabina. 

At the time of Augustus the campus was already divided into 
the "greater" and the "lesser." (See Strabo, v, 3 ; and Catullus, 
Iv. 3.) The origin and the scope of such division are not clear : 
one thing is certain, that in the first century of our era, while the 
name of circus Flaminius had been extended to the whole ninth 
region, that of campus Martius had been restricted to a very 
limited space, lined by stone cippi, one of which {Corpits Inscr., 
vol. vi. n. 874) was discovered in 1592 in the foundations of the 
palazzo Serlupi Crescenzi, via del Seminario. This fragment of 
the historical campus, as it were, destined to perpetuate the 
memory of a state of things which had long ceased to exist, is 
located in the region of the present palazzo Serlupi, also by the 
vita Sev. A/ex., 26. 

Literature. — Lanciani, Rodolfo — La basilica Matidies et Marcianes, in 
Bull, com., 1883, p. II. 

B. The Monuments of the prata Flaminia 
(ad circum Flaminium) 

The group comprises the circus Flaininiiis, indirectly connected 
with the stabida quatuor Factioniwi sex : the temple of Hercules, 
keeper of the Circus ; those of Bellona (of Mars), of Castor, of 
Piety, of Volkan ; and lastly^ the via Flaminia. 


XXXVII. Circus Flaminius. — Among the important works 
undertaken for public convenience in the period between the first 
and second Punic wars, those of C. Flaminius Nepos, censor in 
221 B.C., and killed at Lake Trasimenus in 217, hold a prominent 
place. He built a circus in that section of the campus which bore 
his family name, and opened a high-road between Rome and 
northern Italy. The proximity of the circus to the gates of the city 
and to the Capitol made it a favourite place for popular meetings — 
like the one of 21 1 B.C., in which Marcellus cleared himself of the 
accusations brought forward by his enemies; and the other of 189, 
in which Fulvius Nobilior, the conqueror of Aetolia, conferred the 
military rewards on his officers and men. The tribuni plebis used 
it constantly for meeting and addressing their constituents ; and 
fairs (nundinae) were held periodically under cover of its arcades. 
Augustus filled the racecourse with water in 6 B.C., and gave the 
citizens a specimen of alligator-hunting, in which thirty of these 
monsters were killed. 

The remains of the circus were very conspicuous in the Middle 
Ages, and disappeared from view only in the second half of the 
sixteenth century. Three documents describe them in detail : a 
bull of Celestin III. of i 192 ; a passage in Andrea Fulvio's Antiqq. 
Urbis^ book iii. p. Ixv. ; and another in Ligorio's Circhi^ p. 17'. 
The bull of Celestin calls the ruins " the golden castle," castellum 
aureum ; mentions the arcades which ran the whole length of the 
circus^" parietes altae et antiquae in circuitu positae " ; the prin- 
cipal doorway in the middle of the carceres opening towards the 
" campitello " ; a garden near (or within ?) the circus full of great 
remains ; the slopes upon which the seats for the spectators were 
placed ; and lastly, churches and houses built against and above the 

Fulvio says : ''The shape and the plan of the circus can still 
be easily made out ; there are traces of the seats at S. Caterina 
dei Funari, so called from the rope-walks established under the 
porticoes. The length of the circus is marked by the house of Pietro 
Margani and the church of S. Salvatore in pensili at one end, and 
the palace of Ludovico Mattel at the other ; the width runs 
between the street called le Botteghe oscure on one side and the 
Torre del Cetrangolo on the other. The head of the circus (viz. 
the curved end with the porta Triumphalis) is to be seen by the 
Mattel palace, in the region called Calcarara on account of the 
lime-burners who use the arcades for kilns." 

Ligorio, while confirming Fulvio's statements as to the size and 


orientation of the circus, says that Ludovico Mattel is responsible 
for the destruction of its last remains. " Only a few years ago (about 
I 550) I was able to design the curved end, and measure its plan ; 
but, in laying the foundations of his house, messer Ludovico has 
uprooted its remains made of great blocks of travertine ; I have 
seen the floor of the arena, made of concrete (opus signinum) 
very hard and thick, covered here and there with patches of 
mosaic ; and also the channel (euripus) which separates the seats 
from the arena. Water still runs in the euripus, from a spring 
called il fonte di Calcarara, visible under the house of a dyer close 
by." The Mattel palace mentioned by Ligorio is not the present 
one opposite the church of S. Caterina de' Funari, but the palazzo 
Paganica on the street and piazza of the same name, in the court 
and in the cellars of which a few walls are still to be seen. The 
spring mentioned by the same has been lately rediscovered by 
Narducci.i Some of the marble ornaments brought to light in 
the course of the excavations are to be seen in the cortile of the 
present palace. .The name of le Botteghe oscure given to the street 
which skirts the circus on the south side is a recollection of the 
long line of arcades which gave shelter to the rope-makers and 

While the statements of Fulvio and Ligorio and the existing 
remains of the round end at piazza Paganica allow us to locate 
the circus within well-defined limits, and to assign it a length of 
about 297 metres, a width of about 120, the drawings of Antonio 
da Sangallo the elder, of Antonio the younger, of Vinandus 
Pighius, and of Baldassarre Peruzzi give us the means of restor- 
ing its plan and elevation. 

Peruzzi's sketch is to be found in sheet 408 of the UJizi. The 
intercolumniation (from centre to centre of the Doric semicolumns 
of the lower portico) measured about 7 metres, the diameter of 
the semicolumns 074 metre, the abacus of the capital i -02 
metre ; the direction of the circus diverged by 1 9° from the west. 
Sangallo the elder gives a sketch of the cornice of the lower 
order {Ufizi^ 2050), while Sangallo the younger designs " uno 
basamento di uno edifitio trouato in casa di messer Gregorio di 
Serlupis presso alia torre del melangolo," the same tower where 
Fulvio places the carceres of the circus {UJizi, 2087). In the last 
place, Vinandus Pighius gives a sketch of an architrave with the 
inscription of Anicius Faustus, discovered about 1550 {Cod. 
Beroli?!., f. 120'). 

^ Delia Fognatura, p. 38. 

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Literature. — Nibby, Antonio — Roma antica, vol. i. p. 607, Lumbroso, 
Giacomo — Menwr. di Cassiatiodal Pozzo, p. 48. Visconti, C. Ludovico — Bull, 
com., 1873, P- 217. Notizie Scavi, 1877, p. 80. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 
1676, 8423, 9136. Sarti, Emiliano — Archivio .Societd storia patrla, vol. ix. 
p. 484. Armellini, Mariano — Chiese, pp. 552, 555, 558. Jordan, Heinrich — 
Topogr. , vol. ii. p. 383. 

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PATaLj- CA5 V' 5VB V E KS A/\A- f M' MKAAA AA- T^ Kl S CI.M5 

^^^^\^.Ajt:^:^ >:^^'Ci:y^,p^^i:^^^i^^^:^ ^ 

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XXXVIII. Stabula quatuor Factionum VI. : barracks of 
the four (six) squadrons of charioteers, connected with all Roman 
racing-grounds, but especially with the circus Flaminius by location 
and proximity. The factiones were distinguished by a colour. 
At first there were only two, the red, " russata," and the white, 
"albata" ; next came the blue, " veneta," probably in the time of 
Augustus ; and soon after the green, " prasina.'' Lastly Domitian 
added the purple, "purpurea," and the golden, " aurata." The 
barracks in which they and their race-horses were c|uartered are 
generally placed on the site of the present church of S. Lorenzo in 
Damaso and of the palazzo della Cancelleria, because one of the 
denominations of the same church is in prasino j but the fact that 
only one of four (or six) factions is alluded to, coupled with the 
discovery of a pedestal dedicated to an agitator factionis Prasifiae 
at la Cancelleria, and of a water-pipe on which the name FACTIONIS 
PRASINAE, and no other, is engraved, ^ proves in my opinion that 
there was not one great establishment for the four squadrons 
together, but four establishments, one for each. They covered 
approximately the space between the churches of S. Lucia della 
chiavica, of S. Lorenzo in prasino, and the English college, via 
Monserrato, in the foundations of which the interesting inscription 
Corpus n. 62 i and "una bellissima statua di un Fauno" were found 
in 1682. The Blues are recorded in n. 9719 [Crescens, natione 
Bessus, (olearius) de portic(u) Pallantian(a) venetian(orum)] ; 

^ Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. n. 10,058 (and 10,063) ; Dull, com., 1887, p. 10. 


and in No. 10,044, ^ pedestal erected in memory of one of their 
great victories, found at S. Lucia della chiavica. The cemetery 
of the charioteers was in the Vatican district, along the via 

Literature. — Caetani, Lovatelli Ersilia — Bull, com., 1878, p. 164. Lanciani, 
Roclolfo — Ancient Ro7ne, p. 213. Friedlaender — Sittengeschichte fiinfte Aufl. , 
1881, vol. ii. p. 460. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. part ii. pp. 1307-1321. Bartoli, 
Pietro Sante — Mem. 107 in Fea's Miscellanea, vol. i. p. ccliii. 

XXXIX. Tp:mplum Herculis Magni Custodis ad circum 
Flaminium (temple of Hercules, the great keeper of the circus 
Flaminius). — In the garden of the small cloisters annexed to the 
church of S. Nicolo ai Cesarini there are remains of a circular 
temple with fluted columns of tufa coated with white plaster, and 
resting upon a basement of ^ . 

travertine. The church it- ! I ' 

self rests on the foundations _ ^ -:; '^^-==^- ., V 

of another temple, rect- " T - 

angular m shape, and built ' 

likewise of tufa coated with / j _ / * 

stucco. Both appear in • / -"ITT" ; 

fragment xvi. iio of the ,L<s-=:i-^ 

Forma Urbis here repro- j W^HiM- 

duced. Three or four hun- ^,~i.^ j 

dred years ago they were ( \ r 

in a much better state of j j \--' "V' 

preservation. The round | / "'iSSi^- 

temple was named "t. Veneris % ' '^y'' 

in calcarario," calcararium . X 

meaning the region of the 

,. 1 ., , - ,. , FIG. 178. — A KKAGMENT OF THE FORMA UKUIS 

hmekilns^ and of hme-bur- ^„^^^.,^^ ^^^^^ ^^^,^^^ ^^. „,,,,,^, 
ners, which extended from 

the piazza dell' Olmo and S. Lucia dei Ginnasi to the church 
of the Stimmate, once called of SS. Ouaranta in calcarari. The 
name, however, was wrong : the elegant little structure belongs to 
Hercules the protector of the circus, to Hercules the oracular god, 
so much in favour with the charioteers. It stands in the same 
relation to the circus Flaminius as the round temple of Hercules 
Invictus of the eleventh region stood to the circus Maximus. 
Speaking of the temples of Hercules in general, Vitruvius (i. 7, i) 
contends that they must be raised near the gymnasium or the 
amphitheatre of each city, and in case there should be no 
gymnasium nor amphitheatre, near the circus at least. Vitruvius 



therefore places the god in relation first to athletes, then to 
gladiators, lastly to charioteers ; but in Rome the charioteers were 
his favourites. The birthday of the god, on February ist, was 
celebrated with races {Corpus^ vol. i. 336, 337), and other races 
were run on June 4th near the porticus Minucia, before a colossal 
bronze statue of the same. 

Literature. — Preller, Ludwig — Gr. MythoL, ii. 3, p. 276. Mommsen, 
Theodor — Gesch. d. r'om. Munzwesens, p. 619, n. 259. Babelon — Descript. 
des monnaies de la Ripublique, ii. 565, gens Volteia, n. 1-5. Corpus Inscr., i. 
n. 1538, p. 561 (and p. 301) ; vi. 335 ; ix. 421. Roscher — Ausfuhrliches 
Lexicon, p. 2979. 

By an almost inexplicable coincidence, which is certainly 
unique in the annals of the plunder and destruction of ancient 
Rome, the Hercules Invictus and the Hercules Magnus Gustos, 
both cast in bronze, both of colossal size, both still glittering 
under their coating of gold, have been found concealed near their 
respective temples. We possess but scanty information about the 
finding of the Hercules Invictus, ad duodecim porfas, viz. near 
the carceres of the circus Maximus, which took place under Sixtus 
IV. (1471-1484).! That of the Hercules Magnus Gustos took place 
on August 8th, 1864, near the piazza di campo de Fiori, in the 
foundations of the palazzo Pio-Righetti, which stands on the ruins 
of Pompey's theatre. The statue Avas lying in a deep cavity, 
between two walls of peperino, and was carefully protected with 
slabs of portasanta placed one against another like the tiles of 
a roof It is evident that the charioteers, still flourishing in 
Rome at the time of the first barbarian invasions, exerted them- 
selves to save the valuable bronze images of their god from outrage 
and plunder ; and they succeeded so well that it has taken ten 
centuries to discover the hiding-place of the Invictus, and four- 
teen and a half that of the Magnus Gustos. 

The following original sketch of 1864 represents this last 
event (Fig. 179). 

The statue, slightly restored by Tenerani, has been given a 
place of honour in the rotunda of the Vatican museum. No. 544. 
That of the Invictus has been removed from the salone of the 
Gapitoline museum to a hardly decent room in the palazzo de' 
Conservatori. (Gompare Helbig's Guide, vol. i. p. 21 1, n. 299; and 
p. 454, n. 613.) 

^ De Rossi, Gio. Battista — Z,' ara massitna di Ercole, in Annal. Inst., 1854, 
p. 28. Jordan, Heinrich — Topographie, i^, 491. Corpus Inscr., vol. vi. 
pp. 313-319. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Pagan and Chr. Rome, p. 69. 



Literature. — Ovid — Fasti, vi. 209. Gori, Fabio — Nuova dimostrazione che 
la statua scoperta al Biscione, etc. Roma, Chiassi, 1864. Visconti, Carlo 
Ludovico — Osservazioni sulla statua di bronzo, etc. , in Giornale arcadico, vol. 
xxxix. , nuova serie, 1864. Fabiahi, Enrico — L Ercole del palazzo Pio, Roma, 
Menicanti, 1864; and Ancora dell' Ercole del p. Pio, same year, Nov. ist. 
Koehler, Ugo — Bull. Inst., 1864, p. 227. Lanciani, Rodolfo — Annul. Inst., 
1883, p. II, tav. A, B. De Rossi, Gio. Batt. — Bull, com., 1893, p. 191. 
Furtwaengler — Masterpieces, p. 296, n. 3. 

A third centre of the worship of Hercules by the charioteers 
was discovered in August 1889 outside the porta Portese, at the 

CUSTOS, AUG. 8tH, 1864. 

south-west end of the new railway station. It consisted of a sacred 
cave hewn out of the live rock, with a niche and an altar at the 
bottom, and dedicatory inscriptions stating that the whole had 
been done by a certain L. Domitius Permissus by order (imperio) 
of the god. There Avere two arae., a statuette of Hercules Victor, 
another of Hercules Cubans, architectural fragments, fragments of 
pottery, and above all a set of seven portrait hermae of chario- 
teers in white marble. Helbig thinks that the seven hermae, 
although by different sculptors, date from the same period, that of 
the Julian Emperors. This discovery must be compared with that 



(made in the same 

place, March 1632, by Andrea Brugiotti) of an 
inscription describing how Plotius 
Romanus, a consul suffectus of un- 
certain date, had raised a temple to 
Hercules Invictus in this tract of the 
via Portuensis, 
\ This interesting group of monu- 

/ ments has been unhappily dispersed : 

the sacred cave and the altar covered 
with bas-reliefs of stucco were destroyed 
in 1889; the seven heads of chario- 
teers are exhibited in the south wing 
of the quadrangle of the museo delle 
Terme, somewhat apart from each 
other (n. 16, 18, 22, 24, 30, 34, 38). 
I do not know the fate of the stone 
statuettes and of the two arae of 
Domitius Permissus. 


Literature. — Notizie degli Scavi, 1889, p. 
223. Mittheiliingen, 1891, p. 149. Corpus 
laser., vol. vi. n. 332. Helbig, Wolfgang — 
Guide, vol. ii. p. 206, n. 1007, 1013. 

C. The Monuments of the P^orum Holitorium 

(See§Hx. p. 513.) 

XL. The forum Holitorium (piazza Montanara), the central 
market for vegetables, will be described in § lix., with other similar 
establishments lining the left bank of the Tiber " above and 
below bridge." 

From a monumental point of view the foruni Holitorium was 
•remarkable, on account of the many temples and porticoes which 
enclosed it on every side. The temples were four at least, viz. : — 

A. Aedes Spei (temple of Hope), vowed by M. Atilius Cala- 
tinus in 254 B.C., during the first Punic war, burnt to ashes several 
times, and rebuilt lastly by Germanicus. 

B. Aedes Pietatis, vowed by Manius Acilius Glabrio at the 
battle of Thermopylai, 191 B.C., and dedicated by his son ten 
years later. 

C. Aedes Iunonis Sospitae, built, 197 B.C., by C. Cornelius 


D. Templum Iani, connected with the legend of the Fabii 
(Festus — Milll.^ p. 285), rebuilt first by C. Duilius in the third 
century before Christ, and secondly by Tiberius. The Roman 
calendars in mentioning the feast-days of this temple, August 17th 
and October i8th, place it "ad theatrum Marcelli." 

The porticoes were two at least — the Minucia vetus and the 
Frumentaria, the work of M. Minucius, consul in A.D. 1 10. 

D. The Pompeian Buildings 

XLI. The group of buildings raised by Pompey the great in 
the centre of the plain, known to topographers as the group ad 
theatrum Lapideiun^ presents this curious fact : that while it is 
known in every particular, from texts of classics, from plans and 
designs taken at various times, and from discoveries made to 
the present day, no trace of it exists above ground. The 
theatre, which contained 17,580 seats (loca) ; the curia, where 
Julius Caesar was murdered on March 15th, 44 B.C. ; the porticus 
Pompeiana, enclosing exquisite gardens ; the portico of the hundred 
columns (hecatostylon) ; the temple of Victory on the highest point 
of the cavea ; and the temple of Minerva campensis, have all been 
levelled to the ground or have disappeared. The description, 
therefore, of the theatrum Lapideum and of the monuments near 
it cannot find a place in a book which treats only of existing 

Among the many works of art saved from the wreck of these 
buildings, two are deservedly popular among students, the 
Pompey of the palazzo Spada and the Minerva of the galleria 

The colossal statue of the hero (so-called) was discovered 
under Julius III. Flaminio Vacca says: "I remember that in 
the via de' Leutari, close to the Cancelleria, at the time of Juhus 
111. (1553), a marble statue of Pompey, i 5 palms high, was found 
in a cellar. The parting wall with the next house happened to 
fall just across the neck, so that the owner of each house claimed 
it for his own : the first because the larger part of the statue was 
lying on his side of the wall, the second because the head, the 
noblest part, and that which gave a name to the statue, happened 
to be on the other side. After mature discussion the ignorant 
judge decided that the head should be severed from the body and 
each part handed over to its legitimate owner. Poor Pompey I 
It was not enough that he should have suffered once the same 


evil fate at the hands of Ptolemy I When cardinal Capodiferro ^ 
heard of this foolish arrangement, he made an appeal to the pope. 


^ Girolamo Capodiferro